Just Transition for the Grangemouth industrial cluster: discussion paper

A paper summarising the proposed approach to developing a Just Transition Plan for the industrial cluster of Grangemouth. This will support forthcoming engagement, in aid of a co-design process, that will shape the final Just Transition Plan.


We are transitioning to a net zero emissions Scotland for the benefit of our environment, our people, and our prosperity. We also need to adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change alongside our actions to reduce emissions. Scotland’s ambitious climate change legislation sets a target date for net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045. Our contribution to climate change will end, definitively, within one generation.

The Scottish Government has an obligation to deliver its statutory target of achieving net zero by 2045, and to do so by seizing the economic opportunities this ambition presents, in a manner in keeping with our commitment to realise a just transition for all of Scotland. A just transition, to the Scottish Government and its agencies, refers both to the outcome of this change – defined as a ‘fairer, greener future for all’ – and, importantly, a process undertaken in partnership with those impacted; be that individuals, communities, regions, or businesses. Doing so helps ensure that this change maximises economic opportunity and is fair and equitable.

Scottish industry, with sufficient investment, planning and support, has much to gain from the transition. Significant opportunities in renewable energy, the hydrogen economy, high-value manufacturing and industrial biotechnology, as set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET)[1] could present Scotland’s manufacturing base with new export, investment and market opportunities, sustaining and creating jobs and wealth across Scotland. The Scottish Government’s strategic policies to promote the decarbonisation of industry and support its transition – as well as identifying areas where further UK Government support is required – are set out across the Climate Change Plan Update, NSET and the draft Energy Strategy & Just Transition Plan. Associated funding initiatives to support their implementation and delivery are set out in the Scottish Budget 2023-24.[2]

Grangemouth is central to Scotland’s industrial sector – both in terms of its geography and infrastructure – and, as cluster of industrial activity, Grangemouth could influence the wider transition in deploying the highly skilled workforce, significant assets, and engineering heritage in the locality. Recognition of this potential can be found in Grangemouth’s status as an Industrial Green Transition Zone and more recently, Grangemouth port, together with other sites in the Forth area, being awarded Green Freeport designation.

A targeted, place-based approach has been adopted to focus the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise (SE) and partners’ policies, resources and support around Grangemouth and the industrial epicentre concentrated there. Securing this just transition for the Grangemouth region, as the leading manufacturing cluster in Scotland, requires a coordinated and united approach from the public sector, working closely with the industries and businesses invested in Grangemouth to respond to their needs, and with the active participation of the community and interested stakeholders: an objective to which the Grangemouth Future Industry Board (GFIB), and its constituent organisations are committed.

Purpose of this document

Scottish government and GFIB partners have announced their ambition to deliver a Just Transition Plan for the Grangemouth industrial cluster.

This will involve a series of engagements and workshops during the autumn of 2023 with diverse stakeholders across industry, community, the Grangemouth workforce and others. Working together, it is our ambition that this will support the delivery of a co-designed vision for the Grangemouth industrial cluster at 2045.

Ahead of these engagements, we have produced this document to propose an outline approach to this work, as well as an indicative expression of our ambitions for the future of the Grangemouth industrial cluster.

In doing so and in line with the Just Transition principles of co-design and co-ownership, this document should be treated as a supportive tool to help initiate conversations ahead of an extended engagement period, and should not be considered definitive.


Email: andrew.mccall@gov.scot

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