Framing the concept of “transitioning in” and “transitioning out

Much of Krutham’s work on the just transition has involved looking at various projects requiring financing. We find categorising these into the two buckets of “transitioning in” and “transitioning out” useful to separate important differences in projects and funding requirements. In a short thought leadership paper, we describe our thinking behind this framing.


On 31 August 2022, South Africa took a monumental step in its climate action journey when the presidential cabinet embraced the Just Transition Framework (JTF), a creation of the Presidential Climate Commission (PCC). This adoption underlines not only South Africa’s dedication to the just transition movement but also its intent to equitably distribute the implications of climate action. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy offers tremendous potential for job creation; however, it poses considerable societal risks, especially for an economy like South Africa’s that leans heavily on fossil fuels. The transition threatens jobs in the energy, automotive, agriculture, and tourism sectors, sectors that many depend upon, given South Africa’s challenges with inequality, poverty, and structural unemployment.

The JTF aims to be a guiding light for South Africa as it treads the path to a low-carbon economy. The framework provides a comprehensive vision, set principles, policies, and governance blueprints to ensure a smooth transition. Its principles emphasise distributive, restorative, and procedural justice, highlighting the need for an equitable division of both the risks and the opportunities that the transition to greener energy sources will usher in.

The World Bank estimates the cost of South Africa’s just energy transition at R8.5-trillion in the next three decades. This calls for funding at an unprecedented scale. In our latest thought leadership piece, we frame what types of activities need financing to support and accelerate the mobilisation of funding for specific just transition activities.

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