Just Transition Commission Chair resignation: letter to Commission – September 2023

Letter from Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition to chair of Just Transition Commission about the resignation of Professor Jim Skea as Commission Chair.

To: Professor Jim Skea
From: Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Net Zero and Just Transition, Mairi McAllan

Thank you for your letter of 11th September 2023. I am sorry to hear that you are resigning your position as Chair of the Just Transition Commission, but I fully understand your reasons for doing so.

Firstly, congratulations on your appointment as Chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It is well deserved and the experience you will be bring to the role will be invaluable in providing countries across the world with the necessary scientific evidence to guide global policy in tackling the climate crisis. I wish you every success in this vital work.

Furthermore, I would like to thank you for your outstanding work as Chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission. Since its inception in 2019 the Just Transition Commission has played a pivotal role in advising and scrutinising the work of the Scottish Government as we have placed our commitment to a just transition on a statutory footing, established the Just Transition Fund, published our National Planning Framework, and begun developing our Just Transition Plans. The Commission remains instrumental in shaping our approach to just transition policy and will be a key means of scrutinising our progress towards a just transition.

Your leadership of the Commission has been integral to furthering the just transition agenda both domestically and internationally. I have fond memories of your work during COP26 as you worked tirelessly to communicate the opportunities that nations around the world could seize, including how we could prioritise climate justice in our approach, if we placed fairness at the heart of our efforts to reduce emissions. I would also like to thank you for the commitment you have shown to the role domestically, bringing the Commission to Lewis, Dundee, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Melrose, Peterhead, Falkirk, and Kincardine, to engage extensively with people on the challenges and opportunities that our transition to net zero will bring. It is this, in particular, that has made the work of the Commission so valuable to the development of just transition policy in Scotland.

In light of your appointment as IPCC chair, we are currently undertaking a selection process to appoint a new Chair of the Just Transition Commission. We intend to announce this appointment ahead of 27th of September 2023, ensuring continuity for the Commission and a new chair who can build on your legacy and continue to lead the Commission’s pivotal work in Scotland. 

Finally, I look forward to attending the ‘Financing the Transition’ workshop on 27th September for what I understand will be your last meeting as Chair, where I will be able to congratulate you in person on your new appointment and thank you, and the wider Commission, for all your outstanding work to date.

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