Investor Statement for a Just Transition
Statement addressed to oil and gas companies assessed within the World Benchmarking Alliance’s Just Transition Assessment.
In our race to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, many companies are jeopardising success by leaving workers and communities behind. A just transition envisions resilient and thriving workers and communities, existing within the 1.5°C boundaries set out globally in the Paris Agreement. The private sector plays a crucial role in achieving a low-carbon world.
The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) Just Transition Assessment examined the performance of the world’s most influential high emitting companies. The assessment revealed a lack of action from companies to identify, prepare and mitigate the social impacts of their low-carbon strategies, potentially putting millions of workers employed in these industries at risk of unemployment. Evidence showed a lack of accountability and action, portraying a worrying picture of how key players in the most significant sectors react to the transition to a net zero economy. Oil and gas companies were one of four sectors assessed. There is a need for most of the oil and gas companies to step up their efforts in recognising the responsibility and planning involved in implementing a just transition.
For the transition to be just, companies must engage in dialogue with local authorities, workers, unions and other stakeholders, with particular attention to vulnerable groups. Companies must anticipate how decarbonisation will affect people and communities, and plan accordingly to ensure their fundamental rights are respected- as a part of and while undertaking low-carbon strategies. At a societal scale, the just transition can serve to address existing economic and social inequalities, and reinforce the protection of the rights of workers, vulnerable groups and communities.
The undersigned investors are calling for significant steps to be made to plan for a just transition, which is imperative for the success of a low-carbon transition. As a first step, the oil and gas sector needs to engage in robust transition planning, which involves setting and publishing time-bound, measurable indicators of any social impacts to all affected stakeholders in a low-carbon transition.
This statement is part of ongoing engagement actions under WBA’s Just Transition Collective Impact Coalition and in coordination with Climate Action 100+.
Time is running out to tackle the climate crisis. Planning for a transition that is just for the people and communities affected is not only the right thing to do – it’s the best way of getting to where we need to go.
A collaborative initiative organised by the World Benchmarking Alliance.
The World Benchmarking Alliance is a non-profit organisation holding 2,000 of the world’s most influential companies accountable for their part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It does this by publishing free and publicly available benchmarks on their performance.
WBA’s Just Transition Methodology was developed in partnership with a global community including the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), BSR, B Team, Grantham Research Institute, Ceres, Institute for Human Rights & Business (IHRB), Africa Investor Group, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). It provides a roadmap for companies across six indicators, outlining what steps companies should take to ensure workers, communities and the most vulnerable aren’t left behind in the transition to a low-carbon future.