Climate Change Fight and Social Inclusion: EIB’s Just Resilience

Climate Change Fight and Social Inclusion

In the fight against climate change, countries are not all in the same boat. Some nations and groups of people, especially workers, have been – and are being – affected more than others. These will pay the consequences first, or in a greater way.

Keeping that in mind, it is easier to understand why the announcement made by the European Investment Bank (EIB) is good news. The EIB is extending its "just transition" program to include resilience actions, launching the idea of a "just resilience".

The difference between transition and resilience

The two concepts of transition and resilience are very close, but definitely different.

The idea of just transition is already well-established and concerns the management of policies to mitigate climate change. And, therefore, all actions to be taken to reduce CO2 emissions, global warming, ecosystem destruction, and so on.

Resilience, on the other hand, deals with adapting to the physical and actual consequences of climate change. Because even if we were to achieve the famous Paris Agreement targets, limiting the temperature increase to 1.5°C, many areas of our planet would undergo significant transformations.

And since we probably won't achieve the Paris Agreement targets, a part of humanity will bear the consequences. It is crucial to ensure that green policies do not impact the most vulnerable.

And once again, it is the Old Continent leading the way, with the announcement from the European Investment Bank.

Why fair resilience is important

Just resilience is an approach that aims to ensure that climate adaptation policies take into account the needs and conditions of everyone. To avoid unintentional harm, especially to the most vulnerable.

"The decarbonization of our economies to make them climate-resilient must be socially responsible, or it won't happen," said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice President of the European Investment Bank. "And we will fail to achieve the urgent goals we have set for ourselves. EIB Global's new approach to just transition and resilience will provide more support, through the Team Europe initiatives, to those countries and people who are most affected by the climate crisis and climate policies. I call on all our partners to join us in this crucial challenge to support sustainable investment projects that leave no one behind."

The new approach, starting in 2024 in 9 pilot countries and territories, lists specific categories of fragility.

Developing countries, those affected by conflicts or in difficult situations, and it includes island nations that are increasingly worried about rising sea levels erasing them from the map.

Then, it looks at those who rely directly on natural resources for their livelihood or way of life, primarily indigenous peoples. And the consequences of climate change on migration and migrants, as well as women, youth, minorities. Finally, workers in sectors penalized by the transition are also considered.

In short, climate change adaptation is finally incorporating social inclusion, integrating the impact on the population in defining measures to be taken and metrics to evaluate their effectiveness.

EIB Global will pilot the new approach in nine areas: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam. They will work with public and private partners, providing direct and indirect support to projects involving infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable development, and a lot of human capital training.