Just Transition Commission minutes: 27 January 2023
- Energy and Climate Change Directorate
- Part of
- Energy, Environment and climate change
Minutes from the meeting held on 27 January 2023.
Attendees and apologies
- Jim Skea, Chair
- Richard Hardy, Prospect
- Nick Robins, Grantham Research Institute, LSE*
- Rachel McEwen, SSE
- Lang Banks, WWF
- Satwat Rehman, One Parent Families Scotland
- Katie Gallogly-Swan, UN Conference on Trade and Development
- Ameena Camps, Net Zero Scotland*
- Ann Pettifor, Economist, Policy Research in Macroeconomics
- Ronne Quinn, NECCUS
- Elliot Ross
- Lauren Begbie
- Shona Ann Kinnear
- Elaine Dougall, Unite/STUC
- Jake Molloy, RMT
- Colette Cohen, Net Zero Technology Centre
- Stephen Good, BE-ST
- Jillian Anable, University of Leeds*
- Steven Thomson, SRUC*
- Deborah Long, Scottish Environment LINK*
Items and actions
Welcome and apologies
The Chair welcomed Commissioners, noting apologies received from members unable to attend. Introductions were made to the prospective new members, who had joined as observers.
The structure of the meeting was discussed with the purpose being to conduct a strategic review of the Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (ESJTP), broken down according to (i) renewables and other supply (ii) demand and (iii) fairness and justice considerations. The Commission agreed it would respond via an initial letter with high-level advice, to be followed by a more detailed set of advice by correspondence in March.
Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan: high level reflections
The Secretariat shared a short background presentation on the purpose of the Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, the provenance of the Just Transition Planning Framework and the role of the previous Just Transition Commission and wider civil engagement such as the Just Transition Partnership in advancing the just transition agenda to this point.
The Commissioners shared high level reflections on the strengths and weaknesses of the draft plan and some of the ways in which it could be improved in future versions. This included discussion of risk management and mitigation, contingency planning, financial planning and costs, the critical role of detailed route maps in mapping key interdependencies and providing critical path analyses, workforce requirements, the need for robust and detailed policy actions to deliver high quality jobs at scale, the need for further detail and clarity on strategic considerations related to supply chain development on renewables, and the importance of monitoring and evaluation to ensure progress and mitigate risks.
The discussion also covered ownership questions around fair work, equity, inequalities and impacts on minoritized groups, community energy, the practical and legal considerations around a publicly owned energy company (with the Welsh example offered as one point of comparison), and the need for a realistic and achievable strategy to address fuel poverty.
There was sustained discussion around the need for just transition planning documents to be accessible to those whose livelihoods will be impacted by the transition, and the value of clear communication of key strategic decisions and other core elements of just transition plans.
The Commission discussed elements of the draft plan relating to renewable power sources and other supply and the context and aspirations for individual generation sectors within the ESJTP: wind, solar, tidal and wave power, hydrogen and it’s use in the future energy mix as well as oil, gas and nuclear.
It was noted that a significant road block in the transition in the renewable sector is the lack of workforce planning and skills development could be created in the infrastructure, construction and civil engineering side for the renewable sector, as well as retrofit programmes.
The Commission analysed the draft plan’s strategic approach to questions of energy demand, across the following areas: agriculture and land use, industry (including CCSU), buildings and construction (including on the skills gap in construction for retrofit), transport (including the challenge of achieving a 20% reduction in car miles by 2030), and finance.
The Commission highlighted areas where they required more information from officials, by correspondence or virtual meetings in order to progress the Commission’s detailed advice on the draft plan, as well as agreeing to propose the Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport and the Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work join the Commission’s next meeting to discuss the draft plan for Energy.
Review of meeting outputs and any other business
The Secretariat shared a roundup of meeting outputs and schedule for meeting dates for the first half of the year, reflective of the expected sectoral “skeleton” just transition plans under development by Scottish Government.
- Secretariat to arrange with officials for Ministerial meetings
- Letter from Chair to Ministers with initial advice on Draft ESJTP
- Secretariat to seek to arrange meetings with officials regarding Commission questions relating to ESJTP regarding Project Ninian, public energy company and the plan’s investment prospectus
- Secretariat to arrange meeting with Commission and CYPC
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