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Press Release Just Transition

New Initiative Centers Community Voices at the Heart of the Global South Energy Transition

The IKEA Foundation grants $20 million in seed funding to champion Just Transition plans in Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam

NEW YORK – September 19, 2023 – ClimateWorks Foundation and the IKEA Foundation today launched a philanthropic initiative to support workers and communities in the Global South who are impacted by the transition to renewable energy. The initiative will support a just, fair, and equitable energy transition with an initial focus on Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam. The IKEA Foundation’s $20 million seed funding over four years will champion Just Transition plans co-created with community voices to encourage local climate action and facilitate a transition beneficial to all. 

Addressing the climate crisis requires swift and meaningful action to reduce global emissions, making the transition to renewable energy imperative. The renewable energy sector is expanding rapidly worldwide, with more funding, employment opportunities, and energy production. However, this shift is also affecting the roughly 32 million individuals who work in high-carbon industries. Clear and comprehensive plans to reskill workers and offer alternative sources of livelihood are crucial to facilitating the transition process and minimizing economic, social, and political challenges. 

Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, said, “Successfully addressing the climate crisis requires a rapid, significant and sustained fall in global emissions. However, large numbers of workers and communities across the Global South are dependent on high-carbon industries for their livelihoods. Without the necessary support to these communities, countries will be unable and unwilling to transition to renewable energy. Just Transition plans are strongly aligned with our mission of protecting people and the planet to promote equity, foster innovation, and build partnerships to develop global economies.” 

To support the current Just Energy Transition Programs (JETPs) of Indonesia, South Africa, and Vietnam, the initiative will engage workers and communities who depend on high-carbon industries to shape decisions in policy-making spaces that affect their lives. It complements other philanthropic and multilateral efforts, such as the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), and can bolster clean energy investments in the Global South. 

The initiative will: 

  • Identify affected groups and analyze the economic impact these groups will face to provide a holistic view of Just Transition plans. 
  • Convene national and international dialogues with government, labor unions, technology providers, utilities, and civil society to encourage participatory development of Just Transition plans. 
  • Promote broad discussions about Just Transitions at the local, national, and global levels.
  • Amplify community-driven efforts to communicate effectively by quantifying the economic and social benefits of Just Transition policies, then demand government action. 

“As global economies move away from polluting fossil fuels, we need just energy transitions that leave no one behind,” said Helen Mountford, president and CEO of ClimateWorks Foundation. “The IKEA Foundation’s generous grant provides the opportunity to support strategies that put affected workers and communities at the heart of climate action and clean energy development in the Global South. This initiative is unique in its ability to champion fair and equitable outcomes for all involved in a fast-changing energy landscape.” 

About ClimateWorks Foundation 

ClimateWorks Foundation is a global platform for philanthropy to innovate and scale high-impact climate solutions that benefit people and the planet. We deliver global programs and services that equip philanthropy with the knowledge, networks, and solutions to drive climate progress for a more sustainable and equitable future. Since 2008, ClimateWorks has granted over $1.7 billion to more than 750 grantees in over 50 countries. 

About the IKEA Foundation 

The IKEA Foundation is a strategic philanthropy that focuses its grant making efforts on tackling the two biggest threats to children’s futures: poverty and climate change. It currently grants more than €200 million per year to help improve family incomes and quality of life while protecting the planet from climate change. Since 2009, the IKEA Foundation has granted more than €1.8 billion to create a better future for children and their families. 

In 2021 the Board of the IKEA Foundation decided to make an additional €1 billion available over the next five years to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions. 

Media Contacts 

ClimateWorks Foundation: Jennifer Rigney,

IKEA Foundation: Lotika Mehta,

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Published September 18, 2023

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Jennifer Rigney