Round-table events about Just Transition Plans held by the Partnership in 2023 pointed to shared themes as well as to rich insights into the unique opportunities and challenges in each of three key sectors – Transport, Buildings and Construction, Land Use and Agriculture
These events were organised to make input to the Scottish Government’s preparation of Just Transition Plans for these sectors. Representatives from environmental and climate campaign groups, trade unions, academics and social justice organisations were invited to share priorities for transforming the sectors in ways that deliver on our climate targets while improving the lives of workers and communities.
The current issues for the workforce need to be addressed
In each of the sectors, the workforce experiences problems with pay and conditions, training and casualisation. These are a poor foundation for building new skills and increasing the workforce and so the just transition is expected to move the sectors to better and more secure terms and conditions.
Planning and co-ordination are needed to achieve public benefits
The aspiration in each sector is that the just transition achieves other public benefits as well as decarbonisation – like tackling fuel poverty, increasing accessibility and enhancing biodiversity. Public planning and co-ordination are vitally needed to achieve these public objectives, because markets won’t.
Public programmes, subsidies and regulation are key
For ensuring the investment needed, the key levers were seen to be public programmes and subsidies. To carry out its role in leading and co-ordinating just transition, the state will have to spend directly and to steer private investment, through regulation, procurement, conditionality and planning agreements.
Public agencies as the best employers
Private sector employers always have some incentive to avoid their share of the costs of training their sector’s workforce. Large-scale public sector employers, like Direct Labour Organisations, have the capacity for long-term planning and can provide secure, well-paid employment.
Read the reports of each roundtable
As well as these common themes, the round tables showed clearly that each sector is unique and needs its specific just transition plan which involves its own workforce. Read more in the summaries which can be downloaded from the links below.
“The future of public transport must be in municipalisation and greater public ownership to end the systemic failures of a ‘for profit’ transport system”.
“Our land has to be net zero and nature positive – while ensuring economic security for rural communities, improving working conditions and providing more of the food which Scotland consumes”.
“The Scottish Government needs to bring together key groups to co-design just transition plans for the construction sector. Previous approaches have been fragmented and siloed, and a coherent, synthesised plan is urgently needed”.