– Toni Kay Dyers, Climate Diplomacy Week (30th September 2020)
Just Transition is a unifying, uplifting set of principles, processes and practices which aims at transforming an extractive economy into a regenerative one. This strategy approaches production and consumption systems holistically and promotes a waste-free way of life. Most man-made systems contribute to climate change. It’s imperative for them to transition into low carbon, environmentally friendly operations, however, they create many jobs and contribute to the economy. “Just” refers to providing workers with equal job opportunities and skills to sustain themselves post-transition. In this regard, the transition to a greener economy is just and beneficial to all.
Green economies require systematic alternatives and compliance. These systematic alternatives are necessary to minimize (and hopefully mitigate) the effects of climate change. The Justice Climate Charter provides us with a framework for a just transition. Communities, low-income groups, vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals are most exposed to the effects of climate change. Therefore, the Charter puts emphasis on them by placing them at the fore front of the transition. Other systematic alternatives include food security, eco-mobility, zero waste, Holistic healthcare, etc.
The Charter suggests simple, waste-free lifestyles. Large-scale commercial farms capitalize on mass production. Power needs to be given back to informal traders, subsistence fishers and local farmers to promote sustainability and economic growth. The economy is fed by the coal and mining industries. It’s important for fossil fuels to be phased out in a just and equal way. Workers need to be given alternative, green jobs. Towns and cities should have infrastructure that allows for eco-mobility and the use of other environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
The Charter also states the importance of climate science, indigenous knowledge and ecosystem relationships in the war that is Climate Change. If more people are aware of the intrinsic relationships between organisms in natural systems, they would understand how vital it is to protect those essential systems, and not degrade/destroy them. There is a sacred balance in the natural world. People should learn about this balance through climate conscious media. Nature should be given back her rights and be respected. At the moment, the climate crisis is the worst it’s ever been, however, humanity has reached a (new) level of consciousness and awareness because of it. If we all work together, we can make a difference! Let’s have some faith in humanity!