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CIFF Transition Review: summary for grant makers

Children's Investment Fund Foundation: CIFF

In this review, the Agulhas team identified common themes in managing successful industrial transitions from a fossil fuel based economy towards one that is more low carbon led. The review identified a typology of interventions:

  1. Early retirement/pension/financial compensation for workers
  2. Job retraining and skills development
  3. Infrastructure regeneration projects
  4. Regional support schemes
  5. Forums for stakeholder participation and dialogue

Case studies:

  1. Spain: Revitalising Metropolitan Bilbao
  2. North East England: Fostering entrepreneurship in low carbon technology
  3. China: Heavy industry to high-tech transition in Shenyang City
  4. Germany: Lignite mining to tourism in Lausitz
  5. Scotland: Putting the enabling framework in place for transition


The review found that transition to a low carbon economy has the potential to add more value than simply reducing pollution. Transition policy can create dynamic, inclusive, healthy regions, with better work opportunities and thus provide a source of regional prosperity and pride. The obligation to address climate change creates an opportunity to design climate policy in a way that can deliver a source of community regeneration and renewal rather than just prevent loss. Well-managed transitions can result in a revitalization of a region, with enhanced prosperity and well-being by moving away from ‘economic lock-in’ from high carbon industry. It makes four recommendations to grant makers to enable them to support and accelerate this process.

Areas of expertise:

  • Enabling a successful transition from fossil fuels to low carbon
  • Industrial transition
  • Transition Funds
  • Stakeholder dialogue
  • Social dialogue

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