Statement on behalf of the Just Transition Partnership

The Just Transition Partnership (1) is calling for urgent action from the Scottish Government following the publication of the Interim Report of their Just Transition Commission today (27/02/2020) which has stated that the Scottish Government must act immediately to deliver a Just Transition.

The Partnership, made up of Trade Unions and environmental groups, has welcomed the release of the report and echoes its call that it is time to “move beyond the rhetoric of just transition and begin the hard-work of policy development and implementation”.

The report urges the Scottish Government to act on its advice immediately, rather than waiting on its final report due in early 2021. It makes several recommendations that could be taken forward immediately including creating Just Transition plans, revising the Economic Strategy and incorporating a Just Transition approach across all government decision making.

Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary commented,

“Today’s report sets out a much-needed challenge to the Scottish Government and industry by calling for an urgent ramping up of the policy, planning, direction and investment needed to deliver a Just Transition, to begin immediately. It is positive to see that in certain areas the Commission is calling for action now even ahead of its final report in 2021.

“The climate emergency is the biggest threat facing society and targets to cut emissions are only as good as the policy decisions which are made to deliver them. We simply will not succeed if justice for workers and communities is not at the core of our approach.”

“The Commission has clearly stated that the current transition is not just, highlighting three decades of failure to create jobs in the renewables industry’s supply chains. The Scottish Government must recognise that to deliver a truly just transition Ministers must be much more interventionist and willing to take on corporate interests.”

“Just Transition requires organisation with appropriate business models that enable fair work, particularly the effective voice of workers through unions, that can drive workplace innovation to meet climate targets. The Commission needs to recognise this in the recommendations it ultimately makes.”

Ryan Morrison Friends of the Earth Scotland Just Transition Campaigner commented,

“The Commission has made it clear that planning is crucial if we want a Just Transition to a zero carbon economy. The immediate challenge for the Government is to get moving across all departments on developing that plan, including extensive consultation and engagement with workers and communities on the frontline of transition across Scotland.

“We are in the middle of a climate emergency, with no time to lose and the Commission has rightly urged the Government to act on its advice immediately. The Scottish Government must put this into practice in the forthcoming Climate Change Plan, setting out how their policies fit with a just transition approach to tackling climate change.”

“The recent debacle with wind turbines destined for the Firth of Forth being made in Indonesia instead of the Bifab yards in Fife is a perfect example of how the current marketised energy system is failing to deliver on the transformation required. This demonstrates the urgent need for a more interventionist Just Transition approach to be firmly embedded in upcoming government initiatives, including the Publicly Owned Energy Company, to drive forward the necessary change.”

“So far the Commission has heard lots of evidence from industry and regional development representatives. In its final months of work, it must endeavour to deliver on its remit to engage more broadly and make sure it hears from a diversity of perspectives, including youth and environmental voices.”

1. The Just Transition Partnership was formed by Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Scottish Trade Union Congress in 2016. Membership includes Unite Scotland, UNISON Scotland, UCU Scotland, CWU Scotland, PCS Scotland, and WWF Scotland.
Read our Joint Statement on Just Transition https://foe.scot/resource/joint-statement-just-transition/

2. The Scottish Government is developing a Climate Change Plan which details their policies and proposals to enable Scotland to meet its climate emissions reduction targets in the coming years.
The Plan is an obligation under the 2009 Climate Act and will need to deliver increased action between now and 2030 in line with commitment to cut emissions by 75%. https://www.gov.scot/news/climate-change-plan/

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