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CEED organised a webinar “Just Transition in Jharkhand”

Ranchi, Jharkhand  | August | 17, 2021 :: Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) organised a webinar “Just Transition in Jharkhand” today which deliberated on preparing Jharkhand for the future-ready pathways in the wake of resource depletion and called for moving towards the just transition for ensuring livelihood and social security in the state. The key objective of the webinar was to facilitate a multi-stakeholder dialogue on a long term vision to prepare the state for better managing massive socio-economic disruptions caused by eventual shift from the fossil fuel economy. Just transition as a concept tries to address these challenges and attempts to provide sustainable avenues of restructuring the state economy. Along the same lines, CEED has launched an initiative “Just Transition Resource Centre” which intends to mainstream the narrative of just transition in the public discourse and engages in research, enabling policy, knowledge sharing, networking and capacitation of diverse stakeholders for facilitating inclusive transition at the subnational level.

It is estimated that the coal consumption in the country will peak by 2030 and start reducing afterwards. It will lead to huge socio-economic consequences considering 120 districts thrive on the fossil fuel economy, where about 30 crore people live. The resource rich state like Jharkhand is no exception to this as eight coal rich districts will have multiplier effects on workers and local communities. The key coal belts of Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Ranchi, Bokaro, etc will face a huge existential crisis if appropriate steps are not taken.

Elaborating the broader context and intent of the initiative, Mr Ramapati Kumar, CEO of CEED said that, “In order to facilitate Just transition in the state, CEED has launched a Resource Centre which will work as a common forum to facilitate research based discussion and help the state government to take informed decision in formulation of new policies and programs.” “I urge the state government to initiate a ‘Mission on Just Transition’ which must work in a convergence approach with key departments for enabling policy planning, financing and implementation framework for ensuring inclusive development and just transition in the state”, Mr. Kumar further concluded.

The idea of ‘Just Transition’ was officially included in the Paris Agreement in 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to ensure that the organised & unorganised workers and communities dependent on fossil fuel economy do not suffer due to eventual closing of mines and power plants to meet the climate change goals. It supports a socially responsible rehabilitation and livelihood mechanism for these people who should neither be overlooked nor face the ill-effects of any shock that emerged in the course of comprehensive changes. Just transition also complements with the vision of cleaner energy transition for building a climate resilient society.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms Nancy Sahay (IAS), CEO, Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) said that, “To offset the challenge of loss of jobs and livelihood in the eventual phase out of coal and other fossil fuel, we will be future ready and will create a new set of skill development programs and schemes with clear identification of the alternative sectors to capacitate and prepare people for suitable alternative jobs and employments. JSLPS will take a lead role in accelerating the re-skilling of the existing workforce to adequately support the Just Transition process and livelihood security of the state.”

Supporting a coordinated approach with a common vision, Prof SK Samdarshi, Director, Centre for Excellence in Green Energy & Efficient Technology (Central University of Jharkhand) said that, “An informed discussion and continuous dialogue is needed with a multi-stakeholder approach to create a wide ranging consensus on the future course of actions. There has to be an interdepartmental and convergence approach since just transition is not confined only to energy and environment areas, and it places the need of a multifaceted and inter-sectoral approach from all key departments and agencies for effective planning and implementation.”

Addressing the webinar, Mr Bijay Kumar Sinha, Project Director, Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA) said that, “Just transition complements the transformative changes where one of key components will be renewable energy and we are committed to infuse cleaner energy in every spheres of the economy. As a state nodal agency, we will ensure increasing installation of all kinds of renewable energy projects such as solar, hydro, biomass etc across the state and create a responsive system of training and capacitation to contribute immensely to the cleaner and greener economic model.”

The webinar was also addressed by Prof Ramesh Sharan (Former Vice Chancellor, Vinoba Bhave University) among others, and witnessed participation of various stakeholders from the government departments & agencies, research think tanks, academia, and civil society organisations across the state. The Just Transition program is also supported by the political leaders, social influencers and celebrities including, former Chief Minister Shri Babulal Marandi, Spoke-persons for BJP Shri Pratul Shahdeo & Kunal Sharangi, Former Minister Shri Amar Kumar Bauri, JMM MP (Rajmahal) Shri Vijay Hansda, Dr Vinay Bharat, Dr Nitish Priyadarshi, and Folk Artistes Chandan Tiwari and Nandlal Nayak etc, through video messages to bring a new era of sustainability for achieving the larger goal of inclusive and future ready economy for the state.

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