What is the Just Transition?
The concept of the Just Transition is to ensure that social issues are considered when moving to a low carbon economy.
Rapid climate action that limits global warming to below 1.5ºC prevents the worst human and economic costs of climate change; a Just Transition ensures that this climate action also supports an inclusive economy and avoids exacerbating existing injustices or creating new ones. In simple terms, a Just Transition takes account for the people affected by the shift to clean energy production.
The Just Transition was part of the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, committing world leaders to consider the social implications of the energy transition. At RLAM, our belief is that the Just Transition concept should not be used as an excuse to avoid or delay climate action. To prevent the worst social impact globally, stopping climate change is an imperative.
To ensure global warming stays below 1.5ºC we must achieve net zero globally by 2050. By doing so, we would protect the most vulnerable from the risks generated by climate change – such as heatwaves, flooding and pests – that disproportionally affect them. We would also be leaving future generations with more stable environmental conditions in which to prosper. However, the 2050 target requires an acceleration of action now, and this implies additional costs today. A Just Transition is how we achieve net zero with those additional costs distributed in a fair manner.
The views expressed are those of the authors at the date of publication unless otherwise indicated, which are subject to change, and is not investment advice.