Introduction to Just Transition

Introduction to Just Transition

Wendy Whewell

22 years: ESG & Climate Change

In this video, Wendy explores the concept of the Just Transition, a strategy crucial for ensuring fairness in the shift to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. She also discusses its importance in addressing the socio-economic impacts of climate change on communities, its key components, and strategies for implementation.

In this video, Wendy explores the concept of the Just Transition, a strategy crucial for ensuring fairness in the shift to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. She also discusses its importance in addressing the socio-economic impacts of climate change on communities, its key components, and strategies for implementation.

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Introduction to Just Transition

14 mins 54 secs

Overview

The Just Transition is a strategy ensuring the shift to a sustainable, low-carbon economy is fair, addressing socio-economic impacts on communities dependent on traditional industries. It responds to climate change with actions like renewable energy adoption and conservation, aiming to reduce inequalities and support affected workers through equitable job creation and reskilling. Key initiatives, such as the European Union’s Just Transition Mechanism, facilitate this shift by balancing environmental goals with economic and social equity, in line with the Paris Agreement. This approach highlights global cooperation and the commitment to achieving net zero emissions while ensuring no one is left behind.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand what Net Zero is

  • Understand what the Just Transition is and its importance

  • Identify the key components of a Just Transition

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Summary
Why is the Just Transition important?
The Just Transition is important as it directly addresses the pressing need to combat climate change while ensuring that the socio-economic repercussions on communities are managed with care and fairness. We need to transition to a sustainable world, as shown by alarming climate trends such as rising global temperatures, increased droughts, and rising sea levels. With the goal of limiting temperature rises in line with the Paris Agreement, the transition to net zero emissions emerges as critical. However, achieving net zero involves significant changes across all sectors, which can adversely affect communities, particularly those dependent on high-carbon industries. The Just Transition seeks to balance environmental imperatives with the need for equitable economic development, ensuring that no one is left behind in the move towards a greener economy.

What is the Just Transition?
The Just Transition is a framework designed to ensure that the global shift towards environmental sustainability and a low-carbon economy is equitable and inclusive. It involves implementing strategies that both mitigate climate change, through renewable energy, reforestation, and conservation and address the socio-economic impacts on communities dependent on traditional industries. This approach includes creating decent work opportunities, providing reskilling and retraining programs, and ensuring comprehensive support for affected workers and regions, emphasising the importance of fairness and social justice in the climate action agenda.


How can the Just Transition be achieved? 
Achieving the Just Transition, as outlined by recommendations from the UNEPFI for financial institutions, includes a series of strategic actions: committing to a just transition, understanding its implications, prioritising people in strategy and decision-making, implementing an effective 

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Wendy Whewell

Wendy Whewell

Wendy Whewell is the head of ESG and climate change for corporate and commercial banking at Santander. She has spent her career in corporate relationship banking and is now involved in delivering Santander's ambition to be a leader in supporting businesses, individuals, and communities to navigate the journey of mitigating the risks of climate change and achieving net zero in a responsible and sustainable manner. She has also undertaken additional projects such as improving education, career advice, providing support to disadvantaged young people, and sustainability. When she is not working, she likes to undertake wildlife photography, which has taken her around the world to witness the impact of climate change on our planet and all who inhabit it.

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