2.1 Scotland has set a target to move to a net-zero economy by 2045, one of the most ambitious statutory emission reduction targets in the world. The Scottish Government recognises that to realise this ambition, significant change is required, including far-reaching structural shifts in the economy.
2.2 The term 'just transition' represents an inclusive approach that takes a range of equality impacts into consideration while emissions are reduced. In 2018, the Scottish Government established the Just Transition Commission ('the Commission'). Its remit is to provide Scottish Ministers with practical, realistic, and affordable recommendations that:
- Maximise the economic and social opportunities of a net-zero economy by 2045
- Build on Scotland's existing strengths and assets
- Understand and mitigate risks that could arise to regional cohesion, equalities, poverty (including fuel poverty), and a sustainable and inclusive labour market
2.3 Following publication of its interim report in February 2020, the Commission ran a Call for Evidence, providing an opportunity for stakeholders across Scotland - individuals, representative bodies, public bodies and businesses - to contribute to this important work.
2.4 The six open consultation questions asked participants for their views on the economic and wider social opportunities and challenges associated with meeting Scotland's climate change targets and on the actions the Scottish Government should take to manage these. It asked about what a successful transition to net-zero emissions would entail and about steps to address issues faced by groups or communities that may be adversely affected by a transition.
2.5 Consideration of these responses will form a key part of the Commission's work to develop recommendations, which are due by March 2021.
2.6 Respondents' responses to the consultation, where permission for publication was granted, can be found online.
Profile of respondents
2.7 The Call for Evidence received 274 responses. Of these, 232 were submitted via the online consultation platform, Citizen Space. A further 42 were provided in an alternative format, for example, a PDF document.
2.8 A range of respondents took part. Just over half of responses (149) were submitted by individuals. Of these, 32 indicated they were responding in relation to a specific sector and 50 that they were not; the status of the remaining 67 is unclear.
2.9 Organisations submitted 125 responses. The most represented sectors were energy (26 responses), the built environment and housing (15), transport (15), environment and climate (13) and land use (13). A full breakdown is provided in Appendix 2.
2.10 The Lines Between was commissioned to provide an independent and robust analysis of the responses to the Call for Evidence. This report is set out as follows:
- Chapter 3.1 covers question one, which considers the economic opportunities and challenges associated with meeting Scotland's climate change targets
- Chapter 3.2 addresses question two and the wider social opportunities and challenges
- Chapter 3.3 presents analysis of responses to question three, outlining what a successful transition would look like for respondents
- Chapter 3.4 highlights actions for the Scottish Government raised in question four
- Chapter 3.5 presents analysis of responses to question five, which outline how to address the concerns of groups who may be adversely affected by a transition
- Chapter 3.6 summarises additional information, evidence or research for review by the Commission, as called for in question 6
- Conclusions are set out in Chapter 4
Approach to analysis and reporting
2.11 Given the scope of the Commission's remit, the questions posed by the Call for Evidence were deliberately broad to give all interested parties the opportunity to outline their views. Input from a variety of individuals and organisations from different sectors generated comments spanning a huge range of themes, with some responses not engaging with or linking their responses directly to the question being posed. There was also significant repetition of views within and across responses to the six questions.
2.12 This report presents the range of views expressed and is structured around each question. To improve readability and avoid duplication of themes and contextual information, themes have been placed under the most appropriate question.
2.13 To produce this thematic analysis, the analysis team applied a qualitative coding framework based on a review of the Call for Evidence questions and a sample of responses. A proportion of the alternative format responses contained information that did not align to specific questions. The analysts exercised judgement about the most relevant place to include this material for analysis purposes. A small number of organisations provided very detailed responses relating to their particular circumstances or area of expertise. There is not scope within this report to accurately summarise these responses; they have therefore been referenced throughout the report for the Commission to read separately.
2.14 In presenting the analysis we signify the weight of a particular view using the following framework. Where there are several themes, we have indicated which are the most common or prevalent across responses:
- 'The most common theme' or 'the most prevalent response'
- 'Many' respondents - a common theme, but not the most prevalent
- 'Several' respondents - a recurring theme
- 'Some' respondents - another theme, but less commonly mentioned
- 'A few' or 'a small number' of respondents - a minor theme cited by three or more respondents
Analysis by sector
2.15 Respondents representing or sharing the views of a sector tended to give more detailed, sector specific responses - for example, transport organisations answered questions by focusing primarily on transport related themes. As this was consistent across all questions, this association is not repeated throughout the report. However, where there was a very specific reference about, or from, a sector under a particular theme, this is clearly noted.
2.16 Individual responses were most likely to cover multiple themes, reflecting the number of individuals responding and their varied interests. However, those from organisations also tended to give responses covering multiple themes, in addition to comments about their own sector. Energy, environment and climate, and community organisations, and local authorities, were most likely to give comments that covered multiple themes.
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