If you have been following the news about COP27 in Egypt or G20 in Indonesia, you may have come across the acronym “JETP”. But no worries if you don’t know what it means, or didn’t hear about it before — it is a fairly new thing: a political agreement for the first JETP was announced at the UN Climate Talks in Glasgow (COP26) last year, when a group of countries offered funding to South Africa to speed up its transition out of coal.

“JETP” stands for “Just Energy Transition Partnership”. These are multilateral financial agreements designed to support the phase out of fossil fuels in emerging economies. The topic of JETPs is entwined within the broader discussions of climate finance, in principle offering a mechanism to provide more money and faster to support developing countries to transition away from fossil fuels.

The reason you’re hearing more about JETPs is because Indonesia was also announced as the beneficiary of a new partnership this week, at the G20 summit. Around US$ 20bn were promised by the United States, Japan and Germany to fund the country’s move towards renewable energy. Vietnam and Senegal are also named as potential future recipients.

“At a time when the impacts of climate change intensify around the world, countries and organisations are looking at the JETP deals for South Africa and Indonesia as potential models to implement elsewhere. It is vital that an undesirable precedent is not set. Instead, justice, transparency and real solutions must form the central tenets of current and future deals of this kind.”

Sisilia Nurmala Dewi, 350.org Interim Asia Managing Director

But are JETPs a good thing? 

In principle, yes. If properly designed and implemented, JETPs could offer transformative approaches to achieving climate justice. With the right conditions, they could offer a potentially promising mechanism for energy transitions away from fossil fuels, carried out with affected communities at their centre. The money provided for example, could be used to train and re-skill workers, support needed infrastructural developments such as community-led renewable solutions, and help ensure countries do not embark on development paths using oil or fossil gas.

However, so far there are a number of concerns about the terms and conditions of current JETP agreements, including an overall lack of transparency on the deals – reflecting broader issues with climate finance.

JETPs need to be really ‘just’

350.org and civil society organizations are demanding that the JETP deals include mechanisms for ensuring human rights and cultural customs, and pathways for workers to transition out of the fossil fuel industry with dignity. As well as sustainable and real solutions to the climate crisis. We are calling for increased transparency around those talks and prioritisation of the interests of workers, young people and affected communities.

If you want to know more about the details of JETPs signed so far and the climate movement requests and concerns, here are some resources for you:

  • Sisilia Nurmala Dewi, 350.org’s Asia Managing Director, and Alia Kajee, 350.org’s South African Public Finance Campaigner did a deep dive into JETP’s on Instagram Live shortly after Indonesia’s announcement this week.
  • Sisilia also had an opinion piece published in Al Jazeera earlier this week which outlined concerns around Indonesia’s JETP deal.
  • Our team has also put together this in-depth background briefing  that unpacks Just Energy Transition Partnerships and contains more information about both Indonesia and South Africa’s JETP deals.

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