Environmental campaigners have welcomed the Just Transition Commission’s recommendations for a green recovery but warned they fall far short of what’s needed to tackle the linked crises of the pandemic and climate emergency.

The Commission’s recommendations are in response to a request for advice from the Scottish Government in the face of unprecedented impacts from the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, on how to ensure the recovery can be aligned with a Just Transition to a fairer and greener Scottish economy.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Just Transition Campaigner, Ryan Morrison said:

“The scale of the challenges we face from COVID-19 and the climate crisis urgently demands big ideas and answers. While there are some important recommendations in this report that should be implemented swiftly, it is disappointing that the Just Transition Commission has not looked across the entire economy and come up with bigger, bolder actions.

“The Commission’s recommendations including a large scale fossil fuel decommissioning programme, public investment in renewable manufacturing facilities, buying fleets of green buses for local authorities and doubling energy efficiency budgets would be positive news for people and planet and the Scottish Government should start working on these immediately.

“Several months into the pandemic we are still not seeing Government, or its advisers, engage with the reality that the pandemic has exposed, of multiple, interlinked crises of inequality, poverty, climate emergency and degradation of nature. It is time for a decisive new course that prioritises those most impacted by the pandemic while also tackling the climate crisis in this critical decade.

“Immediate intervention is required to review all Government spending and align budgets with a Just and Green Recovery, while creating thousands of decent green jobs right across the country and the economy. This must be backed up with a new Economic Strategy that puts wellbeing and environment above goals of growth, that drives change through public ownership and sets long term goals for a fair and fossil free economy.

Notes to Editors
1.The Just Transition Commission report is available here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/transition-commission-advice-green-recovery/ 

2. Details of the Just Transition Commission https://www.gov.scot/groups/just-transition-commission/

3. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.