It’s time for a Just Transition, moving to a modern zero-carbon economy in ways which protect workers’ livelihoods, create a new industrial base and deliver a fairer Scotland. Action is urgently needed to avert the climate crisis and to re-balance the economy to one which provides enough decent jobs making things in clean ways.
Plans for this transition so far have not been ambitious enough and progress has been slow. There has been little planning to ensure the protection of the people most affected, in particular those who work in sectors reliant on fossil fuels. Workers should be able to redeploy to new sectors and opportunities for retraining must be expanded.
Action to stop greenhouse gas emissions can create good jobs and improve everyone’s lives. But, done wrongly, it could instead entrench trends towards precarious work and economic inequality, while risking a backlash against climate action. Justice has to be built in – a just transition is essential.
Our conference in February about why public ownership of energy production and infrastructure is an essential part of any plans to hit climate change targets.
The Scottish Government is consulting on its new Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan. There is a large gap where it should have explained what public actions are needed to ensure change at the pace and scale needed.
This event heard how the privatised energy system is giving us fuel poverty, soaring energy prices and profits; and failing to deliver a Just Transition; and looked at publicly-owned solutions in key sectors, from local to national levels.
Roz Foyer, Scottish Trade Union Congress
Mary Church, Friends of the Earth Scotland
Sean Sweeney, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy
Craig Dalzell, Common Weal
Richard Hardy, Prospect trade union
Katie Gallogly-Swan, member of Just Transition Commission
Climate, Jobs, Justice: Making the Just Transition Happen
Our conference on 2 September 2021 heard about why we need a just transition
and what has to be done about it from global and Scottish speakers.
Whether speaking towards the COP26 climate talks in November or to the new
government in Scotland, key messages included the need for decisive action
rather than just fine words; and for a new, pro-public approach to the
economy in place of the pro-market policies which have failed to deliver the
changes we need.
Working together for a Just Transition
The Just Transition Partnership advocates for action to meet climate change targets in ways which protect workers livelihoods and make Scotland more equal and inclusive. It was set up by Friends of the Earth Scotland and the Scottish Trade Union Congress in 2016.