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Discussion Paper | Leaving no one behind: Planning for a Just Transition

Kylie Porter | August 13, 2019

Today, the GCNA released its first discussion paper on the just transition. Titled Leaving no one behind: Planning for a Just Transition, the paper focuses on what a just transition is, what the opportunities and challenges are for business, trade unions, government and communities and how collectively we can govern and finance the transition to a resilient, low carbon economy.

The Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has identified 1.47 billion jobs globally in sectors critical to climate stability. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has estimated that action to meet the Paris Agreement will create 24 million jobs in clean energy generation, electric vehicles and energy efficiency.

In the move towards this future there will be disruption. Australia is already seeing it with ageing coal-fired power stations closing in the next two to three decades. This will see up to 8,500 jobs lost and result in major structural adjustment challenges for both the workers who have lost their jobs, but also the communities that have come to depend on the coal energy industry.

Those communities bearing the impact of low-carbon policies need a fair and socially equitable transition – a ‘just transition’. The concept of a just transition holds immense potential for affected communities, trade unions, businesses and governments to develop and implement carefully planned policies to support those directly impacted by low-carbon policies.

However, if trade unions, businesses and governments do not engage in strong multilateral cooperation, or if businesses and governments adopt short-term, fragmented and reactive solutions to respond to this challenge, we will lose the trust and support of the communities where businesses and governments operate.

Read the discussion paper here.

The associated press release is also available here.

We kindly thank AGL for the use of their photo.

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Kylie Porter

Kylie is a sustainability expert with over 18 years of experience in corporate affairs, sustainability and strategy roles across a broad range of industries. During her career, Kylie has helped numerous companies develop and implement responsible business strategies, managed reputation risk for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and wrote and managed policies across various thematic areas including climate change and human rights.