Who should be included in a Just Transition for Scotland?


With accelerating climate break down, the need to transition away from a carbon-based global economy grows ever more urgent. Alongside the move to a carbon neutral economy, attention is focused towards ensuring the transition unfolds in a way that is fair and ‘just’ to all impacted and involved. At the simplest level, the just transition is a means to support workers within declining carbon intensive industries, but the term is rapidly expanding to include a restructuring of society, reforming past inequalities, and improving social justice. A just transition for Scotland can also be viewed in this context, with various stakeholders adopting differing perspectives. This dissertation finds that for a transition to a low-carbon economy in Scotland to be considered ‘just’, it must address both distributive justice and procedural participation for workers, communities, and marginalised members of Scottish society. This includes energy ownership for communities, greater power and resources for local councils, land redistribution, retraining and financial support for fossil fuel workers, communities, and individuals that are dependent on fossil fuel workers spending power. This is not the current approach adopted by the Scottish Government, who are focusing on a business led just transition pathway.

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