The SNP Government has launched a national taskforce to advise on how Scotland can achieve a carbon-neutral economy.
The Just Transition Commission, a commitment under the SNP’s Programme for Government, will look at how to maximise opportunities of decarbonisation, in terms of fair work and tackling inequalities, while delivering a sustainable and inclusive labour market.
The Commission will be chaired by Jim Skea OBE, Professor in Imperial's Centre for Environmental Policy, Co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a member of the Committee on Climate Change.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP said:
“Scotland has been widely praised internationally for our work to tackle climate change, and I am absolutely determined that there be no let-up in our efforts.
“Our transition to a carbon-neutral economy is already well underway. With Scottish emissions almost halving since 1990, and 49,000 jobs already supported in our low carbon sector, I want to ensure we benefit fully from leading the global transition to low-carbon.
“Part of the Paris Climate Agreement, just transition is about transitioning to a low-carbon economy in a way that is socially inclusive. A key principle is that no-one gets left behind as the employment landscape shifts.
“I am delighted Professor Jim Skea has agreed to Chair the Commission and advise on how we continue the transition in a way that promotes inclusive growth, cohesion and equality, and I look forward to working with him over the next two years.”
Professor Skea said:
“The idea of a just transition is embedded in the Paris agreement. The challenge now is to turn the concept into practical action that shares widely and fairly the benefits of the low carbon transition. Scotland is taking a lead internationally, and I am flattered to be invited to chair the Commission. The challenge in two years is to come up with advice that is actionable and commands the support of stakeholders.”
The specific form that the Commission will take, and its wider membership, are currently being considered and will be announced later this year.
‘Just transition’ refers to the shift to a low carbon economy. The international principles of just transition, developed and promoted by the trade union movement, is summarised as:
Plan for, and invest in, a transition to environmentally and socially sustainable jobs, sectors and economies;
Leave no one behind;
Actively consider employment issues when developing climate policies;
Design and deliver low carbon infrastructure with the aim of creating decent, high value work.