To limit global warming to well below 1.5oC in line with the Paris Agreement and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a transition towards a low-carbon development model is needed. The most important sector to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is the energy sector: the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Global Energy Review 2021 states there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in our net zero pathway. Nevertheless, the Asian continent is leading the world in coal pipelines. It already accounts for close to half of global CO2 emissions, which is expected to rise with increasing population and industrial advancement. Tackling the global climate emergency will not be possible without a significant shift to renewable energy (RE) in Asia. This makes it important to envision what kind of energy future should be pursued in Asian countries.
With the global attention on fast-track climate mitigation efforts, especially through divestment from fossil fuels to the RE sector, the issue of a Just Transition has increasingly come to the core of the international climate debate. This has been driven mainly by trade unions and civil society organisations (CSOs) worldwide. However, the Just Transition concept has not yet received its due attention in Asian countries, both in existing RE policies as well as energy development strategies. This can also be attributed to the limited clarity on what a Just Transition is.
Originating in the labour movement, the International Labour Organization’s Guidelines for a Just Transition were adopted by its governing body in 2015, with member countries now committed to implementation.
The concept of Just Transition was also anchored in the 2015 Paris Agreement, thereby signaling the importance of social justice in climate mitigation policies. Since then, the Just Transition approach has received increasing attention in the planning and negotiation of phase-outs of coal production and consumption. However, its scope goes much further than affected workers in fossil fuel industries. Just Transition provides a powerful narrative that can be applied across multiple sectors; from high-carbon industries – automotive production, construction, transportation, steel – to sectors not normally labelled as ‘green’ or ‘grey’ – education and health. This versatility comes from the fact that Just Transition is not a “one-size-fits-all” concept, but a negotiated vision and a process centered on dialogue and supported by a set of guiding principles (Zinecker et al., 2018).
Against this background, the FES Regional Climate and Energy Project, in collaboration with Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA), will convene the inaugural annual regional Just Transition Forum in Asia (JTFA). It aims to serve as a platform for political discussions on Just Transition, while connecting stakeholders at the national, regional and global levels.
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TRANSFORMATION LAB SESSIONS
Our offices in Asia present the transformation labs – 1-hour sessions tackling regional and national case studies of the different sectors involved in the just transition process – including lessons learned and best case practices on effective policy approaches.
LAB SESSION 1
Social Energy Transition
Know more about enabling a just transition towards carbon neutrality in China – the world’s biggest CO2 emitter but also the largest investor in renewables.
Gender-responsive Energy Systems and Governance for a Just Transition
Educating women on climate change enables them meaningful participation in the decision-making process.
Fueling Tiger Cubs
How can we accelerate fossil fuel divestment and investments in renewable energy in Southeast Asia given our 15% share in the global coal pipeline?
LAB SESSION 2
Women Ecopreneurs Create a Roadmap for an Environmentally Just Future
A gender-just transition ensures that the accountability structures needed to ensure women’s rights are protected and promoted.
International Climate Initiatives on the Ground
Learn about a just transition in Asia and stakeholder engagement on policy frameworks on transitioning away from coal in Indonesia.
Beyond Power: Just Transition as a Guiding Principle
Learn from a labour economist, a renewable energy expert, and an environmental economist as they discuss what it means to be guided by just transition in pursuing a sustainable economy.
LAB SESSION 3
The energy transition as an opportunity for women`s empowerment
How can we centre women’s empowerment in a just transition to renewable energy in Asia? Join ENERGIA’s transformation lab on the role of the public, private, energy and finance sectors in unlocking opportunities for women.
Localisation as a vehicle for achieving a just energy transition
A shift to greener options in the mobility sector is inevitable. Join CUTS International at their transformation lab exploring localisation as a vehicle for achieving a just energy transition.
The political economy of coal in India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam
“Just transition is not just about how workers are affected but also about electricity prices, and how consumers and households are affected.” Join experts from Indonesia, India, Philippines and Vietnam as they discuss these questions.