Clean energy explainer: What is a just transition?

A just transition is perhaps one of the biggest topics in South Africa at the moment. Since COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, when wealthier countries pledged to help South Africa and other developing countries wean off coal and move to more clean energy, it has been two words regularly seen and heard. But what is it? 

The International Trade Union Confederation defines it this way: “Just transition secures the future and livelihoods of workers and their communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy. It is based on social dialogue between workers and their unions, employers, government and communities. A plan for just transition provides and guarantees better and decent jobs, social protection, more training opportunities and greater job security for all workers affected by global warming and climate change policies.”

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