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Just Energy Transition under the International Climate Change Regime

Authors: Denise Fernandes*, University of Colorado
Topics: Energy, Development
Keywords: energy justice, climate justice, finance, development, communities
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The dispersion of finance for renewable energy projects is one of the critical mechanisms to implementing climate change solutions at the international level. Additionally, energy is at the center of development goals by local, national, regional, and international governing bodies. However, the complex and fragmented decision-making structures in international climate and energy finance is disconnected from the just energy transition movement. The paper focuses on two international institutions tied to the Paris Agreement – the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the International Solar Alliance (ISA). We present institutional analyses of the GCF and ISA not only to highlight a complicated process of fund transfers, but also to investigate distributional, procedural and representational justice outcomes. Using semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, participant observation, and media and document analysis, we ask how the urgency of completing climate and energy development projects at the international level has impacted justice outcomes amongst communities and landscapes in which these projects are situated. We focus on three crucial aspects of the governance structures: decision-making and voting structures, environmental and social safeguards, and civil society participation. Theoretically, the analysis aims to expand our understanding of the international institutional process of climate change and energy finance, and participatory and deliberative discussions in the just energy transition scholarship.

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