Workers facing job losses due to the effects of climate change need to transition to new livelihoods, a transition that needs to be crafted by and for them and other vulnerable stakeholders. This will fundamentally shift decision-making away from traditional power structures and require breaking the deadlock of vested interests and political settlements working hard to protect the status quo.
Everyone, from policymakers to trade unionists, community leaders, business people, researchers and even donors, talks about "just transition, just transition, and the just transition". So on the surface it appears that they all agree, but in reality there is no common understanding of what this term actually means for South Africa. What is more concerning is the lack of dissemination of the just transition agenda at a grassroots level, among the very people it is meant to target.
These are among the myriad factors that have emerged during recent stakeholder dialogues organised by Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) in an attempt to unpack the complexities of ensuring a just transition in South Africa.
Why does a just transition in South Africa matter so much?
At its core, it aims to ensure that vulnerable stakeholders are better off through the...