Just Transitions: Local Lessons and Global Insights from South Africa

Just transitions have featured regularly in national-level conversations in South Africa around its energy transition plans and climate change policies and commitments. In this episode, hosted by Neha Sharma of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), we explore the opportunities and challenges that South Africa faces in moving its just transition forward, and lessons which countries and leaders can learn from the case of South Africa. Neha is joined by two experts from South Africa: Brenda Martin (University of Cape Town) and Mike Ward (Rhodes University and Creating Sustainable Value) to dive into the multiple dimensions necessary to crafting a just transition.

This week’s episode is part of the Just Transitions Initiative, a partnership of the CSIS Energy Program and the Climate Investment Funds.

Brenda Martin has worked in South Africa’s energy and development sector for two decades, during which time she led campaigns, conducted research, facilitated multi-sector dialogues, and established national networks. Since January 2020, she has headed the Career Services at the University of Cape Town with particular interest in new career prospects associated with energy and sustainability transitions.

Mike Ward is a sustainability professional with over 25 years’ of experience in South Africa’s energy, environment, and development sector, and currently completing his PhD at Rhodes University. He is Director at Creating Sustainable Value and also works as Senior Sustainability Consultant with the Climate Investment Funds on just transitions. He was previously the Executive Director at The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.

Neha Sharma is an Evaluation and Learning Specialist working with the Climate Investments Funds across its energy, resilience, and forestry programs. She has over a decade of experience in infrastructure, urban, and social development, and technical expertise on evaluation methods and results measurement.

Additional resources:
South Africa Case Study
Who needs a Just Transition?
Just Transitions: An Introduction
Just Transitions: Assessing the Gender Dimensions