Skip To Content


Explainer: What is the Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions Knowledge Hub and why is it so important?


CAN, GIZ, IISD, IKI JET, ILO, ITUC, Wuppertal Institute,

What is the Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions Knowledge Hub?

The Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions (JET-CR) Knowledge Hub is a new digital platform designed to support just transitions away from coal toward a low-carbon energy system, consistent with the Paris Agreement and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Just Transition Guidelines. The Hub facilitates knowledge exchange between coal regions and serves as a one-stop shop for the global just transition community by providing the latest news, research, commentary, and events on the topic of just energy transition, with a particular focus on coal regions in Colombia, Chile, Indonesia, Mongolia, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Hub produces, collects, and disseminates reports, tools, guides, op-eds and other knowledge products among partners, stakeholders, and experts at the global, regional, national, and local levels. It allows local expertise to be highlighted on the global stage while also connecting local actors to international expertise. The JET-CR Knowledge Hub creates or promotes knowledge products that are beneficial to stakeholders and decision-makers in coal regions globally and contributes to the development or implementation of just energy transition (JET) processes in the participating coal regions.

What is a just transition?

Just transition is a framework developed by trade unions and labour organisations to secure workers’ rights and livelihoods as regions transition toward net-zero economies. What happens to coal workers and affected communities when a coal mine closes as part of the clean energy shift?

According to the ILO, a just transition:

  • promotes environmentally sustainable economies in a way that is fair and inclusive to everyone concerned—workers, enterprises, and communities—by creating decent work opportunities and leaving no one behind
  • maximises the social and economic opportunities of climate and environmental action while minimising and carefully managing any challenges, including through effective social dialogue and stakeholder engagement and respect for the fundamental principles and rights at work.

The Paris Agreement on climate change affirms “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.”

Who are the project donors and implementing partners?

The JET-CR Knowledge Hub is the result of international collaboration between six partners each representing different just transition stakeholder groups. Collectively, the consortium works together to implement the global project Innovation Regions for a Just Energy Transition (IKI JET).

IKI JET project donors:

  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI)
  • Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) of the European Commission (EC)

IKI JET implementing partners:

  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (joint project coordinator)
  • Climate Action Network International (CAN International)
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) – Just Transition Centre
  • Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

For further strategic alignment and operational cooperation, a ‘Circle of Friends’ (CoF) was established with an external group of organisations and initiatives for guidance, conceptual exchange, coordination and joint implementation of activities.

What makes the Knowledge Hub unique?

What makes this Knowledge Hub unique is the breadth of collaboration between the implementing partners, with representation from all tripartite partners—governments, employers, and workers—(ILO), trade unions (ITUC), but also civil society organisations (CAN) in cooperation with knowledge partners (IISD, Wuppertal Institute) and GIZ, which brings extensive experience in successful international project development. It is this diversity of partners, representing all relevant just transition stakeholder groups, that makes it different from existing projects focussed on just energy transitions. At the heart of the Hub’s purpose is knowledge exchange between coal regions; a way to share success stories, concerns and best practice to ensure no community is left behind in the clean energy transition.

Partners and donors on why they joined the project—and why the Knowledge Hub is needed:

“At a time when developing countries and emerging economies are implementing just energy transition measures, the Hub can offer a wealth of resources for mutual learning. With its focus on a specific aspect and angle of a just transition, namely the changes that coal regions face, the Hub offers a very targeted portal to help meet their interests and needs at a critical moment. We greatly appreciate coming together with the IKI JET partners in this project, which offers a unique combination of expertise and networks from each organisation.”

 – Camilla Roman, Policy Specialist, Green Jobs Programme, ILO

“Based on our experiences with coal transitions in Europe, it is specifically the knowledge and learnings from peers which are most helpful and valuable for practitioners from other coal regions. The IKI JET Knowledge Hub can become a tool to share those insights, and it provides a great opportunity to strengthen collaboration between us researchers and practitioners across the globe.”

  Timon Wehnert, Head, Berlin Office, and Co-Head, Research Unit, International Energy Transitions, Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie

The JET-CR Knowledge Hub is a central element in our strategy to promote valuable knowledge for the international Just Energy Transition agenda and to make it accessible to people all over the world, regardless of their background. Different actors from the world’s coal regions and beyond can contribute their expertise and learn from each other. The Knowledge Hub provides access to strategies, solutions, and experiences of all kinds, as well as networking opportunities, e.g. regarding topics such as coal mine closure or participation mechanisms. Here, different interests and perspectives come together to shape decision-making processes needed for a more sustainable future. The hub is therefore also an expression and proof that there is a global community that is working together to promote a just energy transition in coal regions. As GIZ, we are pleased to partner in a diverse and complementary consortium and contribute to this.”

  Mike Enskat, Head of Sector Infrastructure – Energy, Water, Mobility Sector and Global Programmes, GIZ

“Coal phase-out is the most immediate step we need to take to tackle climate change, and the Knowledge Hub is one component of the German government’s strategy for coal phase-out. As a nation, we understand how threatening a coal phase-out scenario can feel. That’s why we came up with the idea of the Knowledge Hub: it helps us deal with our own experiences and fears, and at the same time allows us to support other regions having the same issues.”

– Sarah Rieseberg, Deputy Head of Division, Division KC1 General Issues of International Cooperation, Implementation Initiatives, BMWK – The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

“The JET-CR Knowledge Hub is a piece of the puzzle in terms of the EU’s wider ambitions on climate action. The big challenge for the EU is to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels and to decrease CO₂ emissions. With coal mines a large contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, it’s clear that the JET-CR Knowledge Hub has an important role to play.”

– Ingrid Cailhol, Team Leader, Directorate General for International Partnerships Unit F1 – Climate Change and Sustainable Energy; Nuclear Safety, European Commission

Join us at COP 28 as we present the new Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions Knowledge Hub on December 10, 2pm GST (11am CET). More information and livestream link here.

Stay Informed and Engaged

Subscribe to the Just Energy Transition in Coal Regions Knowledge Hub Newsletter

Receive updates on just energy transition news, insights, knowledge, and events directly in your inbox.

Subscribe Now