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An agreement between South Africa, European countries and the U.S. includes $8.5 billion in loans and grants to speed up South Africa’s energy transition to renewables. This deal is a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and is designed to catalyze global finance for emerging economies looking to shift energy reliance away from fossil fuels in a way that doesn’t leave people and communities behind. Similar deals have taken place in Indonesia ($20 billion), Vietnam ($15.5 billion), and Senegal ($2.75 billion).
It took the help of a linguist for Indian researcher Sabir Ahamed to translate the term "just transition" into Bengali for his new study on the impact of coal mine closures on local people, as climate change communication often excludes people who don't speak English. Ahamed settled on the somewhat poetic "kalo theke aalo," which literally means "from darkness to hope."
Here’s an excellent example in southeastern Kentucky of how a former mountaintop coal site can transition to an economic engine that creates jobs and clean energy. “This strategy generates clean electricity without placing solar panels in otherwise bucolic landscapes… It also directs decarbonization investment to communities that are feeling the economic impact of coal’s rapid decline.”
On Monday, July 17, Google honored the mother of modern climate science, Eunice Newton Foote, with a Doodle for her 204th birthday. They also featured a group of six women innovators in climate science, and we’re proud to see our own Heidi Binko among them.
Given the state’s natural beauty, outdoor tourism in West Virginia represents a growing source of economic opportunity for many who formerly worked in the coal mining industry or its ancillary businesses.
Muara Bakah is a village in Indonesia that, like many communities around the world, has been built on a coal economy and is now faced with an uncertain future as the Indonesian government rolls out energy transition initiatives. And also like other communities, the local economy may collapse if it is not accompanied by real efforts to support a just energy transition.
Shuttered coal plants still have significant value to their communities – namely, established connections to the power grid and site infrastructure designed for the energy sector. Many could be workable for clean energy projects like solar arrays, battery storage facilities, or low-carbon hydrogen projects. And redeveloping former coal plants can ensure that nearby communities retain jobs and tax revenue during the clean energy transition.
Vital to economic development, broadband access in rural areas is getting a $42 billion boost from the federal government. “It is… the most holistic approach to closing the digital divide in the U.S. ever,” said Tyler Cooper of BroadbandNow.
The Swaniti Initiative and Just Transition Fund are proud to present the India-U.S. Just Energy Transition Dialogue, a three-part series of webinars exploring how resource-dependent regions can achieve a just transition. The first session will discuss how local governments and community leaders can effectively utilize central and state government funds in both the U.S. and India, where federal policies have enabled the flow of financial resources to local communities.
New federal funding for green energy projects from the Inflation Reduction Act is worth an estimated $370 billion, but some worry that a key tax incentive aimed at boosting renewables investment in communities formerly dependent on the fossil fuel industry is bypassing major urban areas. “All communities undergoing an energy transition — wherever they are located — deserve access to investment and federal funding,” said Heidi Binko.
C40, a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis, has released a new resource for city leaders. Using learnings from C40’s global network, with case studies from cities in various economic and political contexts, the toolkit identified seven essential pillars for achieving a just transition.
Through the National Association of Counties’ Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities initiative, coal communities going through transition are opening their doors to communities on the verge of a transition to offer inspiring examples of economic diversification. A recent site visit to Southwest Virginia included tours of a solar farm installed on a former coalfield and the future site of a regional grain terminal to support the craft beverage industry.