E tū supports a “Just Transition” plan to deal with rapid changes to industries and sectors as the economy restructures in response to Government and international commitments to combat climate change.
This includes the Paris Climate Change Accord of which New Zealand is a signatory. The agreement has resulted in government targets requiring all energy be from renewable sources by 2035, with the goal of a non-carbon economy by 2050. This is what is often called the green economy.
Economies, including our own, are in transition, as they move from carbon-based to non-carbon-based energy sources. This coincides with sweeping technological change, including digital technologies.
Just Transition is a concept developed by the labour movement and involves planning for this new future. A “Just Transition Plan” needs to be adopted and implemented for the workforce, local communities, cities and regions affected by these changes.
Some changes will happen slowly; others will happen very quickly.
Over the coming years, investment and planning will go into creating and implementing new technologies that support non-carbon industries. This will include innovation in wind and solar energy, as well as other forms of renewable energy.
Change is already happening in the oil and gas industry in response to climate change. Like the economy, the industry is in transition and the recent Government announcement about the future of exploration recognises this and signals the change that lies ahead.
A Just Transition is a concept recognised and endorsed in the Paris Agreement, which requires signatory nations to:
… “(take) into account the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities.”
A Just Transition is intended to ensure that workers don’t bear the brunt of the structural adjustment to the world’s economy. We do not want to repeat the tremendous social and economic upheaval in New Zealand society that occurred during the economic restructuring of the 1980s/90s.
This cannot be left to the market alone. We must plan for an orderly response – that is what a Just Transition is about.
E tū is involved in a community and business network run by Venture Taranaki to take a local approach to Just Transition issues.