Skip to main content

New Lab launched to ‘just transition’ to a low carbon economy

How can capital be reallocated in a way that reduces greenhouse emissions whilst providing high quality employment? What difference does strong local policy have on implementing successful public transportation system expansion? Who can benefit when industrial decarbonisation addresses regional inequalities?

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE recently launched the Just Transition Finance Lab to address important topics such as these thanks to the generous support of its Founding Funders Antin Infrastructure Partners, Barclays, HSBC and Laudes Foundation.

Using an innovative blended-funding model that has enabled corporate partners and philanthropic foundations to coalesce around a dynamic, multiyear vision, the Lab aims to be a world-leading centre for experimentation and excellence in the development of the financial solutions required for a just transition to a net zero and nature positive economy.

Professor Nick Robins, Executive Director of the Just Transition Finance Lab, shared how the Lab will operate: “The Lab is born of the realisation that we need to intentionally address the social dimension of climate and nature action if we are to make progress - and that there is a crucial role for the financial system to make this happen. The Lab is therefore designed to be a catalyst for the solutions needed to deliver climate action with social justice as core."

Harnessing LSE expertise and through our rigorous research, stakeholder dialogue and by designing and testing solutions, we hope to demonstrate that the just transition can be both possible and investable.

Professor Nick Robins, Executive Director of the Just Transition Finance Lab
Members of the Lab's project team and Strategy Council at the Lab's launch. Left to right: Nick Robins, Sangeeth Selvaraju, Sharan Burrow, Jodi-Ann Wang, Sophia Tickell, Oleksandra Plyska

Members of the Lab's project team and Strategy Council at the Lab's launch. Left to right, photograph features: Nick Robins (project team), Sangeeth Selvaraju (project team), Sharan Burrow (Strategy Council), Jodi-Ann Wang (project team), Sophia Tickell (Strategy Council), Oleksandra Plyska (Project Team).

Determined to enable stakeholders to move away from fossil fuels and into green energy, the Lab will focus on a people-centred approach, ensuring that communities are included in any transitional plans that will impact them from the beginning.

It will support projects in the UK and India during its first year, with ambitions to widen its geographical reach in the future. In the UK, one focus will be on the exploration of place-based just transition investment plans, while in India the Lab will work with partners to develop sustainable finance innovations that support a just transition to achieve the country’s 2070 net zero target.

A new programme already being progressed by the Lab is The Green+ Bond, which is exploring the strategic potential, and social and economic benefits of a green sovereign bond. It hopes to enable a just transition by bringing together issuers, investors, trailblazers and other stakeholders to work in collaboration.

The Lab will also provide meaningful case studies to reflect on what initiatives have been successful and what could be adapted to enable others with their just transition plans. One of its recent publications highlighted the approach of UK-based energy company SSE to design and implement its just transition strategy, reflecting on the importance of leadership and dialogue between investors and stakeholders, as well as just transition pathways at sectoral and national levels.

On behalf of LSE, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to Antin Infrastructure Partners, Barclays, HSBC and Laudes Foundation for recognising and supporting the Lab’s ambitions. Through their visionary commitment, this exciting initiative will accelerate the global transition to a net zero and nature-positive future, in an equitable and socially just way.

Professor Susana Mourato, LSE Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research

The launch of the Lab builds on five years’ work by the Grantham Institute to identify the role that finance can play in connecting action on climate change with inclusive development pathways.

A Just Transition Finance Lab blog series in the LSE Business Review explores key topics of focus for the Lab. You can read the first blog from Professor Nick Robins here.

The Just Transition Finance Lab would welcome engagement with other organisations interested in supporting the Lab’s work and helping advance a resilient, people-centred, net zero economy. To find out more, please contact Kiran Gupta.