How communities and economies are transitioning away from fossil fuels in a fair and equitable way.
The idea of a “just transition” is often associated with coal miners and other fossil fuel workers whose jobs are disappearing. But it’s a topic that’s so much bigger than that. As listeners will hear throughout this season, this concept encapsulates broader ideals of righting past wrongs—wrongs like racism, sexism, colonialism, and classism.
In the first part of the episode, host John D. Sutter speaks with Benjamin Sovacool, a researcher and energy policy professor at Boston University and the University of Sussex. Sovacool says a just transition is about looking at the livelihoods and well-being of whole communities. The United Nations estimates that 80 million jobs are at risk of being lost because of global warming by 2030, most notably in the global south.
In the second part of the episode, reporter Elna Schutz visits a community in South Africa where a coal-fired power plant was recently decommissioned using a just transition framework. While funding and plans have been put in place to help the community recover after losing its main economic engine, many locals remain concerned about their present situation.
About Heat of the Moment: The climate change crisis can feel so formidable, so daunting, that instead of mobilizing people to action, it engenders paralysis. What could we mortals possibly do to prevent the calamity? A fair bit, it turns out. On Heat of the Moment, a 10-part podcast by FP Studios, in partnership with the Climate Investment Funds, we focus on ordinary people across the globe who have found ways to fight back. Hosted by CNN contributor John D. Sutter, Heat of the Moment tells the stories of the people on the front lines of the fight against climate change. See All Episodes
More Heat of the Moment episodes:
Building a Life-Giving Economy
A conversation with climate writer and podcaster Katherine Wilkinson.
Why Saving Forests Involves Rethinking Jobs
And how to bolster better paying jobs in the global south while confronting the climate crisis.
Seeking Justice in Cancer Alley
Heat of the Moment heads south to the U.S. Gulf Coast, an area with a long history of fossil fuel extraction and the health problems that come with it.