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Case Study 5: Five Factors for Implementing a Successful Just Transition for All

Part of 'Just Transition for all - Analytical Evidence: Background materials for side-event at COP24

Event Presentation

Climate Strategies

As part of a side-event at COP24, we presented research on factors for implementing a successful just transition.

The transition to a low carbon economy has the potential to be so much more than just less polluting. It can be dynamic, inclusive, healthy, and with better work opportunities. The low carbon transition can provide a source of regional prosperity and pride. The necessity of implementing climate policy can be applied to deliver a source of community regeneration and renewal. In order for the required deep decarbonisation to deliver these co-benefits alongside the climate benefits, the transition needs to be planned and well managed.

Economic change can leave not just stranded assets and industries, but stranded communities. Unplanned transitions can leave a legacy of negative social, health and local economic impacts that last for many generations. Communities and workers need not become stranded alongside rusted refineries and abandoned mines.

Our Agulhas Applied Knowledge research found that, if communities and workers participate in the transition, they can speed up the rate of change to meet carbon commitments. This needs meaningful, honest dialogue: with workers, communities, entrepreneurs, local and regional governments. Government policy can create the enabling environment for smooth transitions, encouraging industry to co-fund the transition, and providing vital support when necessary. We looked at best practice in a range of countries, including heavy industry in China, postindustrial decline in Spain and North East England, post-mining in Germany and offshore oil to renewables in Scotland. We found there were five factors necessary for a smooth transition.

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