Enabling Just Energy Transition in South Asia – Challenges and transformational opportunities

Date: Wednesday, 6th December 2023, Dubai

Venue: Side Events Room 7, Zone B6

Time: 16:45 hrs – 18:15 hrs (Dubai time)

The changing global energy landscape is an opportunity for developing countries to transform and adopt renewable energy. The session on ‘Enabling Just Energy Transition in South Asia’ focused on the challenges, opportunities and strategies available in the region and was a discussion to explore the opportunities available and for developing countries to leapfrog from energy poverty to energy access.

The side event was organized in partnership with Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Pakistan; Indian Youth Climate Network, India; Development Alternatives, India; Center for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS), Bangladesh; CHD Group, India; and Climate Action Network South Asia

Shrashtant Patara, CEO, Development Alternatives & Indian Micro Enterprises

“In our work on the ground, we have seen a strong link between entrepreneurship and renewable energy. We have also seen that the female workforce participation is under 30% and how women’s collectives can be at the forefront and the driving force in the transition from fossil fuel to a broader economic empowerment focus. With the loss and damage fund, it’s also less about how much money is being pledged and more about whether it will be made available to the local communities within the next 3-4 years.”

Dr M Mokhlesur Rahman – Centre for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS), Bangladesh

“When we speak of just energy transition in South Asia, there are a few questions we need to ask. First, is it possible for the energy transformation to change the lives of those who have been inhaling dirty emissions? Second, where do human health and human development just transition? Third, where is the space for cross-section and the climate burdens we share as a region? And finally, how do we build just transition into the narrative in a complex region? The fact that health is tabled on the agenda is a significant milestone, but in reality, doctors are not trained in the jargon of climate change, so how do we build into these health systems, and how do we translate global policy to local?”

Srishti Singh, Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), India

“There was a time when youth was considered among the most vulnerable. However, if we still consider youth to be active stakeholders, then there is a responsibility to build capacity and allow them access to spaces and financial tools. We also need to pay importance to the upskilling of young people to be prepared for the transition, so youth will have access to jobs and the development that will likely take place.”