On 3rd December, Climate Strategies addressed the 2023 High-level Roundtable on Just Transition at COP28.

This statement is rooted in Climate Strategies’ submission to SBSTA and SBI on the work programme on just transition pathways referred to in the relevant paragraphs of decision 1.CMA.4.

Below you can find the statement made by Adriana Chavarría Flores, Programme & Impact Manager.

Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Adriana Chavarría Flores, and I am delighted to share our evidence-informed position on behalf of Climate Strategies, an international research and knowledge brokerage organisation with a network of over 100 leading climate researchers, including IPCC contributors and authors. Although we are a member of the RINGO constituency, I am not speaking on their behalf today. 

We are delighted to see just transitions taking centre stage at the UNFCCC. We see just transitions as enablers of the much-needed increased ambition and implementation towards the Paris Agreement goals. And we welcome the WP on JT Pathways as an opportunity to create an enabling policy environment to drive the systemic change that this requires. 

Our research shows that a cross-cutting approach to just transitions is one that supports a multi-sector approach (not limited to the energy sector), goes beyond mitigation to incorporate adaptation and resilience measures, enables multi-stakeholder participation (including the workforce, but also other affected communities and vulnerable groups), and welcomes multiple approaches and pathways, while prioritising the needs of vulnerable countries, regions and communities. 

Yet, major challenges remain, including effectively connecting the JT negotiations with the lived realities of people on the ground, balancing the need for a broad and inclusive scope of the WP with a focused and productive operationalisation, balancing urgency with the lack (and/or) unequal availability of resources (including political will), as well as addressing systemic inequalities. 

Though we celebrate recently announced pledges to increase renewables and energy efficiency measures, science has repeatedly shown that this will not suffice. We need a managed phase out of ALL fossil fuels aligned with PA net zero targets by 2050. And our economic modelling shows that globally, the cost of a delayed transition is higher than that of a rapid one. Therefore, evidence supports that a delayed transition is not a just transition. 

To address these challenges, Climate Strategies calls on the Member States to create an ambitious WP which: 

  1. Maintains a broad scope consistent with the JT definition previously mentioned, 
  2. Has a long-term timeline, in accordance with the long-term nature of just transitions, 
  3. Coordinates and cross-fertilises across all UNFCCC work streams, while avoiding duplication, 
  4. Supports not only emissions reductions, but achieving the SDGs with special consideration of HR, 
  5. Creates and maintains forums for inclusive participation, 
  6. Serves as a space for knowledge sharing and for enabling mobilisation of financial and technical support. Importantly, this includes a call for additional research to be conducted in developing countries and LDCs, and made accessible to those who will be most impacted by the transition, to enable effective decision-making and a balanced playing field.

I want to conclude by commending the Member States’ commitment to keep the WP on JT Pathways as a participatory space for non-parties (particularly vulnerable groups and those who have been driving this topic forward for a long time, such as Trade Unions, CSOs/NGOs, and academia), as sustainable and just solutions must be founded on meaningful and effective social dialogue. 

Thank you again for your attention.