Just transition is an important discourse for the youth in Kenya. With an estimated 61% of the population, young people face a myriad of challenges including exclusion from development processes. Kenya’s current development pathways which are highly dependent on natural resources have contributed to high levels of unemployment in the country, with youth being the largest proportion unemployed at an estimated 55%. Climate change is an added challenge to the youth constituency. It exacerbates youth unemployment by reversing gains in economic growth particularly in natural asset-based sectors which support more than 70% of the country’s economy topping among the biggest sectors. Examples are the agriculture and environment – natural resource sectors. Developing sustainably is the only way to safeguard jobs in the long run.
This transition to a cleaner, more sustainable economy must, therefore, be economically and socially just, fair for people and their communities. A just transition means a complete package of sustainable policies and social programs that will allow the majority of the population to benefit from change, rather than bearing its costs. This means going beyond providing a reliable system of social protection and compensation to those who will be affected to bringing economic life into a social and democratic framework.