As the world transitions to renewable energy, the landscape is changing fast for the 65 million people who work in fossil fuels and the communities relying on them for income.

The millions of workers in the energy sector and their communities must be able to take part in decisions that affect their everyday lives. Current plans in the Global South, notably the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) in IndonesiaSouth Africa, and Vietnam, provide billions of dollars in climate finance for an energy transition. However, they do not set aside any funding for community participation.

Engaging communities in climate action makes for a more climate-resilient future. We’re passionate about a truly just transition that co-creates solutions with the affected communities so the process is equitable for all.

A just transition is not only a matter of fairness. Without active support from local leaders and communities, the transition will struggle to make meaningful progress. As Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of the TreasuryAn energy transition that is not just will simply not work.’

Much remains to be done. Non-renewable fuels, which include coal, oil, and natural gas, still supply about 80 percent of the world’s energy. These fuels are far more prevalent in the Global South, as coal comprises 95 percent of the power sector in South Africa. Phasing out high-carbon fuels in all countries is vital to achieving the emissions reductions needed to limit global warming to 1.5°C in line with the Paris Agreement.

Philanthropy is uniquely positioned to put the ‘just’ in just transition by providing funding to support community-driven initiatives that shape action from national governments. Quantifying financial needs and potential benefits will help workers communicate effectively and create the policies they deserve.

Just transition plans focus on a stable, affordable, and accessible energy supply for both local and global communities. JETPs emphasize the growth of infrastructure that can support communities for years to come. Their initial investments in renewable energy should provide new economic opportunities for workers and prioritize the needs of local communities.

Read the full article about a just clean energy transition by Jason Anderson and Sahba Chauhan at Alliance Magazine.