Shifting our economy away from dependency on fossil fuels is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a fairer and more equal Scotland.

Ending our dependency on fossil fuels is an opportunity to build a fairer and more equal Scotland. But we also know that the transition won’t be successful unless it is fair to workers and communities currently dependent on jobs in oil and gas, and other high carbon sectors.

The Scottish Government has set demanding climate and renewable energy targets, but plans to deliver on them have not been bold and ambitious enough. Much of our progress in reducing emissions has been as a result of de-industrialisation, and policies to deliver the low carbon economy have failed to create new manufacturing jobs in Scotland. Meanwhile, job losses as a result of low oil prices are hurting the communities in the North East. If the transition to a low carbon economy is left to market forces, we risk a repeat of the devastating social dislocation and high unemployment experienced as a result of de-industrialisation and coal mine closures.

Friends of the Earth believes that the transformation to a low carbon economy presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a fairer, more equal and socially just Scotland. If the transition is to be successful and resilient it must involve workers and communities currently dependent on jobs in oil and gas, and other high carbon sectors, as well as broader civil society in planning for this transition. That’s why we are working with partners in the trade unions on industrial policies that can create a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy in Scotland.

Joint Statement on Just Transition

With our partners – Scottish Trade Union Congress, Communication Workers Union Scotland, Public and Commercial Services Union Scotland, Unite Scotland, Unison Scotland, University and College Union Scotland, WWF Scotland – we have prepared a Joint Statement calling for a Just Transition in Scotland. The Joint Statement voices our shared concern that plans to tackle climate change have been too slow and not ambitious enough, and presses the Scottish Government for bold measures, particularly in the Climate Plan, the new Energy Strategy and the new Climate Bill. The Joint Statement is open to unions and civil society organisations to sign up and support.

Climate Plan as Industrial Plan

In 2017 the Scottish Government is producing its third Climate Change Plan – a report detailing how it plans to deliver emissions reductions between 2017-2023. With the Just Transition Partnership we submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament scrutinising the Government’s plans. Our asks included that the Climate Plan to be used as the foundation of an industrial plan and the setting up a Just Transition Commission to oversee and take forward the transformation to a low-carbon economy.

Read our joint evidence to the Scottish Parliament here

Scottish National Investment Bank

The Scottish Government announced in September 2017 they are creating a major new public bank: the Scottish National Investment Bank. If given the right mandate and leadership this new Bank could make the critical difference in funding a just transition to a low-carbon economy in Scotland.

Learn more here.

‘How to Get a Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy’ Conference shows new determination to see change happen

The idea of a Just Transition to a new, clean, more balanced and more just economy is bringing together trades unions and environmentalists in Scotland.