The urgency to mitigate the catastrophic impacts of climate change necessitates a rapid transition from fossil-based energy systems to clean, low to zero-carbon energy sources. Without specific efforts to ensure an equitable transition, existing injustices in the current energy systems will be exacerbated, resulting in winners and losers. Winners will benefit from the employment and innovation opportunities associated with the transition, while losers will bear the transition’s burdens and lack access to the opportunities.
Supporting local enterprises through this transition will contribute to the development leapfrog that will create the right mix of local policies, private sector support, and entrepreneurship to create new jobs, facilitate the design of green infrastructure and enable a business space that will give local entrepreneurs the support they need to launch and transform their business.
In this regard, the United Nations University-Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) in partnership with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) rolled out a project aimed at exploring the intersections between possible stranding of hydrocarbon assets and the various forms of risk and inequities affecting energy access in the informal sector within the political economy implications of ‘just transition’ in the African context. The project focused mainly on the informal sector as a critical dimension for sustainably managing stranding and low carbon transition and possibly exploring opportunities for the informal sector to lead the transition towards decarbonized economies.