At COP27, the World Bank hosted a panel discussion on the steps countries can take to prepare for a just transition away from coal, with insights from South Africa, India, and Poland. Transitioning away from coal is the key action to limit global warming to below 2°C.
Transitioning to an affordable, reliable, clean energy system while meeting growing energy demands is the development challenge of this and future generations. Just transition should ensure that people are the center of the transition away from coal and that new economic opportunities emerge.
For energy transition to be just and fair, it involves an early engagement with the communities – a multi-directional dialogue with the community members to engage them with the issues that they will be facing as to begin to design of their new futures.
The event presented a new initiative developed by the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership (ETP) with the World Bank – the Just Coal Transition Forum, which combines ETP’s emphasis on bold and pioneering measures with the World Bank’s global experience.
It is critical that the Southeast Asian communities engage with the communities across the world early. The Forum will bring these communities together with their peers in Southeast Asia as well as other transitional areas in Europe and elsewhere to learn from one another.
To consult and communicate are the two most critical elements that you have to continuously do. Alongside communication and consultation, you also need to deliver. You need to look at re-training, reskilling and up-skilling people who work in the coal value chain
According to Srestha Banerjee, Director for Just Transition, iFOREST, planning a social transition requires planning for impactful investments. “When rebuilding the new economy, the most fundamental thing will be to ensure how you engage with the people. It must create local level platforms, because if you don’t engage with those people in their own languages in their own cultures in the political economy context, this is going to be a battle that can actually backfire.”
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