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ERIA Contributes to the T20 Dialogue on Global Just Transition

23 March 2023

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New Delhi, 23–24 March 2023: The International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology (iFOREST) held the first Global Just Transition Dialogue on 23–24 March 2023 in New Delhi. The 2-day event, jointly organised by iFOREST and Think Twenty (T20) or Task Force on Refueling Growth, brought together more than 200 policymakers, high-level officials from ministries and state government departments and policy experts in India, members of government bodies/commissions from Global South countries, industry leaders, and key financial institutions to deliberate on clean energy transition, green growth, and inclusive and equitable development agenda.

iFOREST is an independent non-profit environmental public policy research and innovation organisation based in New Delhi, India, whilst T20 is a network of think tanks and research institutions from the Group of Twenty (G20) countries that provides policy recommendations on various issues to the G20 leaders.

Energy transition has long been a crucial topic on the G20 agenda, with different presidencies adding to and refining the G20 engagement since the Paris Agreement of 2015. Under the Italian Presidency in 2021 and the Indonesian Presidency in 2022, the importance of a clean energy transition and a just transition has been recognised. Under the Indonesian Presidency, the G20 elevated global clean energy transitions to a G20 leader-level priority. Building on earlier deliberations, the Indian Presidency is working on a road map for the just transition, incorporating the aspirations of the Global South. One of the key priorities in the action plan is for the G20 to adopt key principles and guidelines for just and inclusive energy transitions to identify priority actions for the G20 on employment and jobs, social and economic development and engagement of people in the transitions, gender equality and behavioural aspects and quality of life, and elimination of energy poverty and integration of younger generations in decision making.  

Mr Amitabh Kant, the Sherpa of G20 India, inaugurated the event. Dr Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, Director for Research Strategy and Innovation at the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) joined the panel discussion on Global Experiences on Energy Transition. He discussed the opportunities and challenges related to Indonesia’s Just Energy Transition Partnership, which was signed at the outset of the G20 Summit in Bali in 2022. He outlined the role of G20 in supporting just transition in Global South countries. The other members of the high-level panel were Ms Louise Naude, Commissioner of South Africa’s Presidential Climate Commission; Mr Nithi Nesadurai, Director and Regional Coordinator of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia; Mr Edwin Koekkoek, First Counsellor of Energy and Climate Action, European Union Delegation to India; and  Dr Brian Motherway, Head of Energy Efficiency at the International Energy Agency.

The panellists agreed that the transition process should be inclusive of all impacted workers and dependent communities, including women, children, indigenous communities, and other vulnerable groups. They recommended that the G20 working group guide all financial institutions to integrate just transition principles into their net zero plans. The session was moderated by Ms Srestha Banerjee, Director of India Just Transition Centre at iFOREST.

Three more panel discussions were held on the first day of the event: Policy Framework for Just Transition, Green Economy and Inclusive Growth; India’s State-level Action for Green Energy, Economic Development, and Sustainable Just Transition; and Financial Requirements for Just Energy Transition.

The second day of the event saw a roundtable discussion of experts and a working group meeting to draft the principles and guidelines for a just and inclusive energy transition under four thematic areas in line with the priority area of the G20.  Dr Anbumozhi was the lead discussant for the discussion group on social and economic development, eliminating energy poverty, and ensuring the quality of life. He summarised the roundtable discussions.

The outcome of the dialogue was included in the deliberations of the 2nd Energy Transition Working Group meeting in Gandhi Nagar, India, on 2–April 2023.

More details of the dialogue and associated reports are available at https://iforest.global/events/global-just-transition-dialogue/.   

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