The concept of a Just Transition is crucial as the South Asian region grapples with the dual challenge of transitioning away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy while ensuring social equity and sustainable development.

This transition requires a comprehensive approach that includes technological, financial and policy measures to incentivise renewable energy adoption, such as feed-in tariffs, tax incentives, and subsidies. The social aspect of a Just Transition is equally important, as it ensures that the benefits of the transition are shared equitably among all segments of society.

CANSA and its members and partners are working on the multiple aspects of Just Transition from mainstreaming of fossil fuel phaseout and low carbon development, to sustainable production and consumption, circular economy, and bottom-up participatory planning in Just Transition policy- making criteria by connecting and amplifying knowledge/experiences/best practices and Just Transition journeys and initiatives within the network.


At COP26 in 2021, global leaders reaffirmed their commitment to Just Transition, stressing its relevance across sectors beyond energy. Sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, and transportation play pivotal roles in this transition. For instance, industries such as fashion are increasingly focusing on sustainability through reskilling, decarbonization, and circularity efforts.

Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs), comprising 90% of global businesses, face unique challenges in adopting sustainable practices due to barriers like insufficient funding and policy support. However, they represent crucial agents of change in achieving net-zero goals and fostering inclusive growth.

In South Asia, MSMEs, particularly in sectors like textiles and apparel, are vital economic contributors but also significant polluters. For example, Bangladesh's Ready-Made Garments (RMG) industry, dominated by women workers, faces sustainability challenges amid efforts to reduce environmental impact.

Exploring Just Transition pathways in South Asia would involve stakeholders from MSMEs, governments, communities, and trade unions. By addressing challenges like environmental degradation and inadequate infrastructure, actionable models could be developed for transitioning to a sustainable, people-centric economy.

Through social dialogue and community engagement, MSMEs could be influenced to adopt green practices. It underscores the importance of inclusive policies and support systems to ensure that the transition benefits all, particularly marginalized groups and regions.