Just transition

We are committed to ending our contribution to climate change in a way that is fair and leaves no one behind.

The actions needed to become net zero by 2045 will transform all sectors of our economy and society and will require rapid structural change. In Scotland, we have seen how unplanned structural changes in the past have left inter-generational scarring and deprivation, most notably in our former coal mining communities. 

Our transition to net zero must be managed differently. If we plan ahead and take action, ending our contribution to climate change presents a unique opportunity to improve the collective wellbeing of our nation.

The Climate Change Act 2019 embeds the principles of a just transition; this means as we reduce our emissions and respond to a changing climate, our journey is fair and creates a better future for everyone – regardless of where they live, what they do, and who they are. 

By utilising our efforts towards emissions reductions and adaptation to tackle existing inequalities, we can deliver an economy and society which is centred on people’s wellbeing.

Last year’s Programme for Government [2020] and the Climate Change Plan update, a number of policies are supporting a just transition. These include:

  • investments in key net zero markets (like buildings, energy and transport) that will drive demand for good, green jobs
  • aligning skills policy, including through the Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan, to support reskilling and retraining to access green jobs now and in the future
  • improvements for priority bus infrastructure, improving connectivity for people in lower socio-economic groups
  • incentives (concessions) for young people on public transport
  • delivery of heat and energy efficiency policy and building transformation in a way that supports those least able to pay and tackles fuel poverty
  • work with farming and crofter communities on developing new agriculture support measures
  • the Grangemouth Future Industry Leadership Board, demonstrating a partnership approach to plan and co-ordinate activity to ensure opportunities for low carbon economic growth are maximised

We are committed to delivering a just transition, by working with communities, business, industry and the people of Scotland to plan for our net zero future.