This post is by Jim Skea, chair of Scottish Just Transition Commission and professor of sustainable energy at Imperial College London. He writes here in a personal capacity.
There are two very good reasons for bringing justice to the heart of the net zero transition. The principled reason is that it is simply the right thing to do. Sweeping changes to society and the economy will be required, and it is right that climate action is steered by, and responds to, people’s needs and aspirations. The second reason is pragmatic. Change on this scale will not happen without broad social consent. There needs to be a shared perception that the transition is fair and costs are shared equitably.
This post is by Nick Robins, professor in practice for sustainable finance at the Grantham Research Institute.
At the UN climate conference last December, 53 countries including the UK, signed the Silesia Declaration fleshing out the commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, by taking into account “the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs”. For the Polish host the case was clear: “considering the social aspect of the transition towards a low carbon economy is crucial for gaining social approval for the changes taking place.”
The need for a strong social dimension to climate policy has also been displayed on the streets of Paris, with the initial protests by the gilets jaunes prompted by an increase in carbon taxes. Read more
This post is by Catherine Cameron, Katerina Cerna and Lucy Stone of the consultancy Agulhas: Applied Knowledge. It highlights the results of research commissioned under a grant from CIFF.
Change can leave not just stranded assets and industries but stranded communities. Workers in the tar sands oil fields of Alberta, Canada were determined this fate would not befall them. Worried that the boom and bust of oil extraction would lead to layoffs, community disintegration and tough times, they chose a different course. The worker-led Iron & Earth initiative is an indication of what could happen if fossil fuel workers get involved in changing their prospects.