Just Transition Commission – help us respond to the consultation

April 15th, 2020 Posted by News, Policy, Uncategorized No Comment yet

Update 1: As the deadline for submissions to the consultation has been extended, so too has our own deadline for completing our survey. We will now keep our survey open for another 2 weeks, until the 20th May.

Update 2: Our online workshop on the 5th of May has now filled up!

Scotland’s Just Transition Commission was created to help guide the Scottish Government towards achieving a carbon-neutral society in a fair and equitable way. We cannot rightly transition to carbon-neutrality if doing so exacerbates the inequalities already present in our society, and harms the already disadvantaged. Carbon-neutrality must be achieved by a just transition – one which features solutions that benefit everyone in our society, our economy, and our environment.

The Just Transition Commission is currently asking for public input following the publication of its first interim report. 2050 Climate Group plans to help the Just Transition Commission’s research in finding out what these solutions are, with a focus on young people and the transport system.

All our policy work is directly shaped by the views of young people. Please take the time to complete our survey so we can better understand the issues you currently face, and how a transition to a carbon-neutral transport system could positively or negatively impact this.

You can also join us on Tuesday 5th May, 7.30pm-8.30pm, for an online workshop where we will discuss these issues in more detail. We will be joined by a speaker from Friends of the Earth Scotland who will offer talk about their campaigning and policy work on transport and the just transition.

Read on below for more useful information and context.


What is a ‘just transition’?

At 2050 Climate Group we like to ask, “What do you want your future to look like?”. Just Transition is also vision-led, keeping you at the heart of its decisions. By identifying what kind of future we want to live in, this movement unifies principles, processes and practices to provide a path to a more sustainable future.

Just Transition seeks to create a shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative one. The transition itself must be just and equitable; restoring equality and creating new partnerships. If the process of transition is not just, the outcome will never be.

For example, Aberdeen is highly reliant on the oil & gas sector for its economy. How can we wind down production of fossil fuels without thousands of workers losing their livelihoods? These are the kinds of issues that a just transition seeks to tackle.

Image credit: Climate Justice Alliance

What is the Just Transition Commission?

The Scottish Government launched the Just Transition Commission (JTC) in 2018 and tasked it with advising the government on how to maximise the opportunities for decarbonisation in terms of fair work and tackling inequalities, while delivering a sustainable and inclusive labour market.

The Just Transition Commission is chaired by climate scientist Professor Jim Skea and includes representatives from WWF and Scottish Trades Union Congress. 2050 Climate Group was invited to sit on the commission in order to provide a youth perspective. We are represented by Charlotte Hartley, who is a member of our Board of Trustees.

On 27 February 2020 the Just Transition Commission published their interim report summarising the themes emerging from their work and their initial recommendations. The Report had 3 main pillars, specifically:

  1. Planning Ahead

The need to develop transition plans now, to bring certainty for those who had been involved in the transition and establish momentum for prompt action. The report makes it clear that the planning is key for managing the economic and social implications of decarbonising the economy. The report also stresses the importance of planning to maximise the opportunities that arise from decarbonisation. The report recommends that the Government begins the groundwork for developing the transition plans over the next year. 

  1. Engagement 

The report identified the importance of understanding society’s expectations of the transition to a low carbon future. It stresses the need to bring all communities, businesses and individuals along in order to succeed in bringing Scotland’s contribution to climate change.The report recommended that the Government think about how it can trigger a social dialogue. 

  1. Bringing Equity to the heart of climate change policies

The report recognises that decarbonisation could create winners and losers and that the Scottish government should ensure that the benefits of action against climate change are shared and that costs are allocated fairly. It also advocates for more consideration to be given on how equity can be incorporated into government decisions.

The report stresses the need for urgent action, in order to reduce emissions. It recommends that the Scottish Government starts to identify which parts of the transition to a decarbonised society has specific advantages and where economic opportunities can be used. 

How can you get involved?

After publishing it’s interim report, the JTC invited written submissions to inform the development of its final recommendations to the Scottish Government. 2050 Climate Group’s policy team will be responding to this consultation, in order to provide young people’s perspectives on these issues. While all sectors are important and every aspect of society must adapt to achieve a just and sustainable future, we wanted to focus on one particular sector, and look at what young people in Scotland’s concerns were for that sector. After polling our Leader’s Network and social media followers, the sector selected was transport.

All our policy work is directly shaped by the views of young people. Over the coming weeks 2050 Climate Group will survey members of our Leaders Network and other young people in Scotland on the transition of the transport sector and what key considerations must be made. We welcome contributions from all young people living in all areas of Scotland; we would especially like to see ideas from young people who are disabled, working class, from an ethnic minority, or who live in rural/remote areas. These voices are even more important when considering how to enact a just transition.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday 6th May at 7pm.

You can also join us on Tuesday 5th May, 7.30pm-8.30pm, for an online workshop where we will discuss these issues in more detail. We will be joined by a speaker from Friends of the Earth Scotland who will offer talk about their campaigning and policy work on transport and the just transition.


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