In June last year, OneWorld CEO Belynda Petrie was a panelist in one of the sessions in The ESG Exchange’s First Thursday series. Sponsored by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, the panel discussion centered around the Just Transition. The session asked the question “Can any economic transition be just? Has it been done before, what can we learn and where are the warning lights?”

Read more about the session of the ESG Exchanges website here.

In the panel discussion, Belynda defined the just transition as: “Putting it simply, it’s a range of social interventions that are needed to make sure that the rights of both workers and communities and their livelihoods are protected in that transition.”  

She noted that the transition away from fossil fuel:

“obviously affects coal mining, for example, or oil Industries around the world it affects their people and that are working in those directly in those jobs and it affects the communities that are supporting economic corridors around Communities that are support economic corridors around coal mining, for example in Mpumalunga.”

More than just protecting the rights of those affected by the transition, she added that,

It’s also about it’s also about maximizing the social and economic opportunities that emerge out of such transitions. It recognizes that, or it seeks to recognize, […] that there are opportunities – that this is not all doom and gloom – BUT those opportunities can only be maximised if we plan for them.”

Her contributions in this discussion draw from insights from OneWorld’s recent projects for the South African Presidential Climate Commission.

Watch the full panel discussion on YouTube here.

Municipal Community of Practice on South African energy scenarios
The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis: OneWorld's Climate Landscape Analysis for Children projects (UNICEF)