Just Transition Commission call for evidence: analysis report

Analysis of the responses to the Just Transition Commission's call for evidence.

3.4 Actions for the Scottish Government

3.4.1 Consultation question four asked about the role of Scottish Government in delivering a just transition to net-zero:

What actions do you think the Scottish Government should take to manage the opportunities and challenges referenced above?

3.4.2 The analysis in this chapter focuses on actions for the Scottish Government. In their comments some respondents also referenced the opportunities and challenges inherent in transitioning to a net-zero economy; these themes are not repeated as they have been addressed in previous chapters.

Leadership, urgency and new approaches to policy and legislation

3.4.3 Calls for leadership and a sense of urgency were frequently identified in responses to this question. Many suggested that delivery of a just transition should be high on the list of national priorities and some commended the Commission in sustaining a focus on the shift to a net-zero economy.

3.4.4 Several respondents urged the Scottish Government to be bold and set more radical targets for emission reductions. There were repeated calls for the development of a clear strategy and implementation plan that reflects the complexity and scale of change required. One respondent called for the introduction of a constitution that enshrines a commitment to live in balance with the natural world and another suggested that the Scottish Government should move towards a broader consideration of economic growth which recognises the wider positive economic and social impacts of reduced emissions.

3.4.5 Comments on leadership included calls for the Scottish Government to divest public sector pensions from any investment in fossil fuel companies; to direct procurement systems to increase the spend on local, sustainable businesses; for impact assessment processes to focus on equity in transition; and to consider how connections between government directorates and policy portfolios could enhance decarbonisation efforts.

3.4.6 Many respondents urged the Scottish Government to implement new legislative and policy approaches. The level of detail provided in these suggestions varied; in some cases, a proposition was put forward without extensive description of what this would entail. Comments around new approaches, policies and legislation are presented below.

Energy and emissions

3.4.7 There were wide ranging comments on energy and emissions. Some of these made clear links to economic and social opportunities and challenges. For example, in relation to energy and the economy some highlighted opportunities for growth in the renewable energy sector and others called for the Scottish Government to set out a vision that encourages business investment in the energy sector by providing clarity about changes envisaged in the medium to long-term. They asked the Scottish Government to support workforce transitions for those employed in the sector and some suggested that the fossil fuel industry should also bear the costs of re-skilling the workforce.

3.4.8 On social opportunities and challenges, comments included concerns that renewable energy and new technology or approaches to reduce emissions may not be affordable for all. A few focused on the challenge of changing behaviours and energy use, calling for the Scottish Government to introduce education and information campaigns about emissions reductions and the benefits that will arise from the transition. One respondent described 'a poverty premium' in relation to energy and other services, noting that 'an investment in rural and remote areas is required to ensure those living there can receive the same opportunities and services that those living in urban areas can benefit from'.

3.4.9 Many respondents focused on ways to reduce emissions, without linking their comments specifically to economic and social opportunities and challenges. These included calls for a decommissioning plan for the oil and gas sectors and a more targeted goal of achieving a 90% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035. Some suggested there should be an end to subsidies for oil and gas, though it should be noted this is reserved to the UK Parliament. A small number felt that diesel, petrol and plastic should be banned completely. A few observed that no more licenses should be issued for oil and gas exploration and extraction.

3.4.10 Some respondents advocated for the creation of new bodies to champion and influence the transition, for example a specific Scottish Climate Change service, a task force or a climate change assembly.

3.4.11 The Scottish Government was urged by some respondents to plan for more wind farms, to remove caps on solar and wind technology, to replace gas with hydrogen, remove restrictions on development rights, invest in hydro and tidal power, convert waste into clean energy, and implement recommendations in the Sea Change Report and the Just and Green Recovery Plan. One respondent called for the Scottish Government to include nuclear energy in its vision, another suggested that nuclear may have a role to play but is too risky to include as part of a long-term solution.

3.4.12 Other suggestions included identification of community test sites to convert the gas system from methane to hydrogen, encouraging local electricity generation through grants and subsidies and incorporating renewable energy into all new housing developments.

3.4.13 Mixed views about the Scottish Government's role in incorporating carbon capture and storage in the transition to a net-zero economy were evident. Some felt Scotland has an opportunity to take the lead in this emerging field and urged for greater investment in the sector's development. A few suggested it would be better to focus efforts on preventing carbon from being created in the first place.

3.4.14 Demands for innovation and investment were evident in many responses, including research and funding to support the development of renewable energy technology and to enhance Scotland's energy infrastructure. One respondent called for a specific focus on technology for older or remote properties, given the challenges of connecting these dwellings to efficient energy networks. Another suggested Scotland should establish a net-zero technology centre.

3.4.15 The Scottish Government was also urged to tighten energy regulation standards, introduce an energy charging regime that supports achievement of net-zero targets, and establish an important role for a publicly owned energy company (POEC). One respondent suggested that all future energy distribution systems should be buried or built underground to provide greater network capacity and resilience, following the example set by Denmark. Another called for the regulation of non-regulated energy markets.

3.4.16 While many urged the government to take strong action to reduce emissions with immediate effect, an individual urged the Scottish Government not to tackle emissions, on the basis that they should 'get back to the real world'.

As the renewable energy sectors are growing across the UK, Europe and globally, and with the growing emphasis on, and commitment to, energy transition in the oil and gas industry, there are many opportunities to create new economic activity. These include new technology development and commercialisation, diversification of traditional industries and the creation of new businesses, all of which will create new jobs, and products and services that are saleable into both domestic and international markets.

The Scottish Government should work to ensure emerging pre-commercial technologies such as floating offshore wind, wave and tidal, hydrogen and geothermal energy have a route to market. Support will be required until these technologies have reached a stage of maturity where the technology can be scaled up and cost reduced to be competitive. Clear targets, identified development areas, and financial support mechanisms have enabled the deployment of fixed offshore wind at scale. It is also expected to be the cheapest form of electricity generation in the near future. If the success of fixed offshore wind can be repeated with other technologies it will greatly support the just transition - green power, new opportunities for communities, new employment and significant export potential.

Aberdeen City Council

Land use

3.4.17 There was wide ranging discussion in relation to land. For example, some considered the role of land reform in a transition, suggesting the Scottish Government could do more to support community ownership and use of local land, enabling communities to develop and implement initiatives contributing to the ambitions of a net-zero economy. One respondent called for a strong policy direction to ensure any planned development incorporates consideration of energy use and needs. Another highlighted the opportunity represented by the 4th National Planning Framework to contribute to a just transition, calling for a shift to long-term holistic thinking. More broadly, several urged the Scottish Government to end the destruction of peatland, to encourage rewilding, stop deforestation and focus on improved biodiversity.

Food and goods production and waste management

3.4.18 There were frequent references to food consumption, production and waste. A few respondents made explicit links to economic and social opportunities or challenges; others focused more broadly on ways to reduce waste.

3.4.19 Economic challenges included the conflict between Scotland's existing economy, in which many businesses are reliant on new purchases, and the need for people to reduce consumption and reuse materials to reduce emissions. One participant highlighted twin economic benefits associated with composting: more opportunities for commercial composting, and improved soil quality leading to greater yield from soil. Social challenges included the difficulties of changing preferences and consumption of high emission products and foods (for example fast food with excess packaging) and the benefits linked to food, including better health from more nutritious eating.

3.4.20 General comments on food and goods included discussion of sustainable approaches. There were calls for the Scottish Government to encourage people to buy local produce, to reduce overall consumerism, to subsidise food produced using sustainable methods, to make reforms to agricultural policy and legislation to reduce greenhouse gasses, or to encourage regenerative agricultural practices. One organisation highlighted the importance of giving consideration to and reconciling what can sometimes be competing policy demands.

3.4.21 Other responses highlighted a need to offer support for small scale local farmers. Examples included financial incentives to encourage efforts to reduce food miles, investing in organic farming, encouraging greater production and consumption of plant-based foods and introducing a statutory requirement for labelling on foods to show greenhouse gas emission intensity. Some called for an end to high impact fishing.

Promotion of and support for healthier agricultural systems, using local growing/crofting communities, which promote increasing biodiversity. Move away from heavily subsidised, soil degrading large scale meat and dairy farming. Actively support a variety of natural growing approaches including permaculture, biodynamics, organic farming, biodiversity farming, agroforestry etc., Rewild the Scottish landscapes, creating jobs in doing so, and increase biodiversity as it is beneficial to human wellbeing (in enjoying spaces and foraging for example), supports wildlife and also makes more robust growing/farming spaces in the face of climate change.

Climate Action Strathearn

Farming is a long-term business based on long-term investments and changes to farm practices will take time given the length of livestock production cycles, crop production cycles and the life expectancy of machinery etc. Climate change mitigation targets have an ambitious timescale and there is a danger of rushing through changes to the farming industry if an early start is not made to developing clear strategic policy for the future.

Policy should be clear and simple to the industry, support measures and schemes should have sufficient flexibility to cover differing situations across different farm types and regions, and they should be straightforward for farmers to adopt without the need to engage professional advisors.

Scottish Tenant Farmers Association

3.4.22 General comments included calls for an end to schemes that encourage excess food purchasing and requests for single use plastics to be banned in Scotland. The Scottish Government was also asked to encourage and expand the role of recycling and reusing within the economy.

Food waste/surplus at a commercial level should mostly be driven by the market and bottom lines although mandatory waste reporting would also help drive this reduction. Reporting should be developed with special attention paid to 'waste' generated by price-wars and loss-leaders that is then diverted to food banks, further institutionalising the model. Food waste in the home has by far the biggest impact but we need a new paradigm to address this. There needs to be a radical rethink around messaging and how to communicate with householders. Bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders from across the food landscape, including nurses, landlords, planners, teachers, architects, etc., would help explore new ways of thinking. Where unavoidable food waste exists, there should be mandatory recycling including greater powers to challenge and ultimately fine residents for non-compliance. In the rental sector, landlords should also share responsibilities for ensuring tenants understand and comply with recycling requirements.

Nourish Scotland


3.4.23 Calls for actions on transport appeared frequently. A few respondents made explicit reference to economic and social opportunities or challenges linked to transport. Others described overall changes to the system they wished to see.

3.4.24 Economic challenges included the difficulty of decarbonising an entire sector, the complexity of adjusting a system underpinned by long-term planning efforts and the significant task of achieving change in businesses reliant on existing transport systems in their delivery models.

3.4.25 Social challenges included concerns that costly changes in transport for the public - for example, encouraging purchase of electric cars - risk further inequality by widening the gap between rich and poor. A few highlighted opportunities and challenges associated with complex social changes that may lead to reduced reliance on transport; for example, how to organise, plan and resource changes to employment, shopping and essential services so that they are closer to places where people live. Many respondents focused on the health benefits of active travel.

3.4.26 Respondents urged the Scottish Government to introduce stricter regulations to reduce air travel. Examples included days without any flights or encouraging businesses to stop using air travel. One respondent requested investment in sustainable aviation fuels to reduce emissions, observing that this would be 'the quickest win (both in terms of economic boost and decarbonisation)'.

3.4.27 There were multiple references to public transport, including calls for the development of an electric transport system, for national ownership of public transport services, and for provision of subsidised or free transport at the point of consumption. A small number discussed Scotland's railways, calling for total electrification of the railway system and for train journeys to be cheaper and easier. Two called for expansion of the metro system.

3.4.28 The many comments on cars included an appetite for general discouragement of car use. A small number suggested cars should be banned in city centres; one felt city centres should be reserved for electric vehicles; one suggested parking could be made more expensive; another called for the introduction of road pricing models; one called for encouragement of home working to reduce commutes; one proposed two car-free days in cities per month; another suggested a limited number of tickets per year be issued for people driving the NC500 route.

3.4.29 Several respondents asked the Scottish Government to support the anticipated increase in electric car use by facilitating improved access to charging points and a small number observed the requirement to upskill the motor industry to provide services for electric vehicles.

3.4.30 Approaches to make roads safer were encouraged, with respondents outlining how such measures could reduce emissions and deliver wider social benefits. Examples included regular testing of drivers, larger penalties for poor drivers, presumed liability for drivers if there is an accident with a cyclist or pedestrian, more 20 mph speed limits and enhanced traffic restrictions.

3.4.31 The health benefits of active travel were frequently highlighted, with respondents noting that improved networks and expansion of walking and cycling paths would encourage this. Some urged the Scottish Government to withdraw from road building projects and reallocate this resource to fund active travel and sustainable transport infrastructure. One called for conversion of some roads or highways into bike routes; another for more resources to be allocated to implementing the national walking strategy; and one advocated the creation of a stimulus package for living locally, designed around 20-minute neighbourhoods.

3.4.32 A few highlighted the need for coordination and planning to enhance active travel and make local adjustments that would reduce dependence on vehicles, with public transport options and active travel a factor in any new development. Linked to this, one suggested that regional transport planning authorities are underfunded and would benefit from more resourcing and greater powers to implement change.

We need newly re-empowered Regional Transport Authorities that have power over the entire transport network (public transport, roads, traffic controls and land-use planning), and which are properly funding, with existing funding schemes (BSOGs, the Concessionary Card Scheme etc.) being channelled through the Regional Transport Authorities and not awarded to operators directly from central government. Most importantly, these Regional Transport Authorities also need revenue-raising powers (like Transport for London), so that money raised from traffic control measures is guaranteed to be re-invested in expanding and improving the public transport network.

Get Glasgow Moving

3.4.33 Within this discussion there were requests for the Scottish Government to nurture and promote a cycling culture. Examples included greater provision of cycle training in schools, grants for cycling groups, bike subsidies, facilities for cyclists in workplace settings and greater capacity for bike passengers on buses and trains. One suggested there could be a reward scheme for people who reduce their carbon footprint through active travel.

3.4.34 Shipping and ferries were mentioned in small numbers of responses; one suggested that ferries should be built in Scotland; and another called for joined up timetable planning between buses, trains and ferries.


3.4.35 Some respondents reflected on the infrastructure required for the significant changes anticipated in Scotland over the coming decades. They highlighted economic considerations for the Scottish Government to address, including how to finance new infrastructure projects. Positive social impacts from improved infrastructure, including better digital connectivity for rural areas, were also identified. One respondent called for 'long-term investment decisions in infrastructure, developing the business case through a counterfactual which fully takes account of the social and environmental costs'.

3.4.36 A few respondents urged the Scottish Government to assess Scotland's infrastructure in relation to achieving net-zero and expressions of support for the recommendations of the Scottish Infrastructure Commission were identified in some responses. One called for the Scottish Government to upgrade broadband connectivity across Scotland to enable communities to benefit from 'smart local energy systems', another highlighted new job opportunities that would arise from improved digital infrastructure, such as people in rural areas being better able to work from home.

The Scottish Government should support and facilitate investment in infrastructure such as ports, harbours, fabrication and manufacturing facilities, skills training and transition from other industries such as oil and gas. This will be needed to ensure that Scotland can secure and retain maximum local content in projects and create jobs in areas such as large-scale fabrication, construction and operations and maintenance. Growing domestic manufacturing and supply chains will help build on the country's resilience and future-proof against economic shocks including sectoral downturns and pandemics, while helping to secure and protect a strong skilled workforce. This is borne out by the challenges experienced in accessing imported goods as a result of COVID-19. This pandemic has created new economic issues that are going to make the emphasis on just transition even more important. The green technologies are growing areas of economic activity. They are key to creating new infrastructure, jobs and investment that will be required for national recovery, and so it is important that they are supported.

Aberdeen City Council

Transport is the largest single source of Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions and remains the largest obstacle to emissions reduction. The increase in cycling and walking during the pandemic shows the potential if these were made easier and safer. Applying Christie Commission principles, a comprehensive national plan of preventative spending on active travel will save the country money through mental and physical health improvements. Quality of life will improve joining planning decisions, and with investment in the planning, design, management and maintenance of green spaces by Councils. Only a radical transformation of public transport - free or low fares, more routes, improved frequency and integration, multi-modal ticketing, as well as greener - will be sufficient for people to shift from private cars. In the process, inequality will be reduced and access to the labour market opened up. This can be achieved by local authorities re-regulating and municipalising bus transport, using the powers in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, extending the powers and funds of regional transport authorities, and creating national bargaining arrangements to secure Fair Work in the transport sector.

Unison Scotland

Economic development, planning and models

3.4.37 Respondents highlighted the potential for Scotland's economic strategy to underpin the success or failure of transition to a net-zero economy. Economic approaches with varied levels of ambition and detail were proposed. Specific suggestions included advocating a New Green Deal for Scotland; creation of a resource map to identify goods flowing in and out of Scotland; Scottish Government to measure gross national happiness and to implement the doughnut economic model; and money for prisons, police and the armed forces to be reallocated to sustainable economic development. One suggested the Scottish Government should 'use the successes of the Climate Challenge funded projects to re-focus the way that all money is spent by the Scottish Government, engage economically driven networks by subsidising ideas that help to shift goods and services to more sustainable goods and services'.

3.4.38 A small number called for the introduction of local currencies but did not provide details and one mentioned this in the context of distributing wealth into the economy.

3.4.39 Many comments focused on the crucial role in decarbonisation of planning and managing economic development. Respondents offered a broad range of propositions for the Scottish Government to implement. Several of these related to economic planning. There were repeated calls for the development of specific transition plans for different sectors. References to a costed economic transformation plan, produced by the Common Weal think tank, were found in several responses.

3.4.40 More broadly, respondents urged the Scottish Government to nurture green businesses; prohibit the import of goods which do not meet environmental standards; issue larger fines for polluting businesses; require businesses to produce accounts which provide an environmental risk assessment; and change product advertising to provide information about environmental impact. One respondent suggested Scottish Enterprise should support and encourage businesses to transition to models and ways of working that are aligned to the ambitions of a net-zero economy.

There needs to be discussion with all sectors to develop policies for sustainability which are then monitored and enforced. Tax needs to focus on the polluter pays principle and assistance needs to be given to poorer households to transition. When government assists companies, it should consider taking an equity stake to allow it to influence their policies for the public good. Transitional assistance may also be needed to support the process of change. People who are unemployed or who face higher costs due to the withdrawal of public services may need additional financial help. Procurement by the Scottish Government and local authorities should be revised to facilitate the engagement of smaller local organisations in service delivery and to avoid large companies dominating; they tend to be more focused on profit than meeting local need. It should also take account of the tax contribution made by companies to the UK and Scottish Governments.

St Columba's by the Castle Episcopal Church

3.4.41 Frequent calls were identified for sectoral adjustment plans and for investment in workforce training and development to support the transition. This discussion included an acknowledgement that those working in carbon intensive industries will need support to shift to new forms of employment, as well as wider reflections on the range of skills Scotland will need for a greener economy. The need to involve key stakeholders in the planning process, including businesses and trade unions, was highlighted. One respondent suggested that 'in order to protect workers while ensuring a fairer spread of the economic benefits, the Scottish Government must anticipate changes in the labour market and put in place strategic skills development and retraining programmes.'

3.4.42 On workforce planning, a small number urged the Scottish Government to implement a four-day working week and encourage working from home where possible, to reduce commuting and its environmental impact.

3.4.43 Many called on the Scottish Government to encourage innovation to support the transition to a green economy. Examples given included facilitating joint working by further education institutions and businesses to share knowledge, championing and showcasing good practice, offering incentives, encouraging entrepreneurs, investing in research and development for new technology and considering the role of data in assisting a transition.

Training and skills, inclusive labour market programmes and career development support should be delivered by colleges, universities and industry-based bodies as part of regional skills plans. Discussions with employers' federations, trade unions and training providers (of potential limits within the employer-based apprenticeship system of rapid growth in specific trades) should be initiated well in anticipation of this problem to be factored into the Just Transition Strategy. There is an urgent need to map the skills required in a fossil free economy and begin targeted programmes to address any gaps that would impede delivery.

Friends of the Earth Scotland

Education and public awareness

3.4.44 Many respondents urged the Scottish Government to engage in an information and awareness campaign to garner public support and understanding for the transition. They explained that this would support people to comply and help the public to understand what needs to change, what change will involve and what they will gain from the transition. Suggested ways to raise awareness included consultation, public information campaigns, engaging with community groups and using culture and the arts to communicate, resonate with and inspire the public.

3.4.45 Often these comments included pleas for more focus on climate change in schools, so that future generations are engaged from an early age.

All schools should have gardens/areas enabling students with the opportunity to grow vegetables and gain a better understanding of the food cycle and local production. Classes and education should be offered in ecology, sustainability, supporting peers and their community.


Financing the transition to net-zero

3.4.46 The economic challenge of financing the transition to achieve net-zero was mentioned in many responses. In this discussion the contribution of expenditure and activity by the public sector to the process of reducing emissions was highlighted by some respondents.

3.4.47 Many respondents spoke positively about the Scottish National Investment Bank and suggested it could play a role in the transition, for example by funding projects which contribute to achieving net-zero or by investing in green bonds. One respondent advocated for the creation of a sovereign wealth fund, built by expansion of renewable energy, but did not provide further detail about how this could work.

3.4.48 On this theme, one respondent called for a mass decarbonisation programme of public buildings, schools, hospitals and prisons by 2040. Another suggested the Scottish Government should ensure all public sector vehicles - or those used by its contractors - are required to be low carbon with penalties for any breaches. One proposed that businesses with poor records of compliance with environmental policies should not be awarded any public sector contracts.

3.4.49 Respondents acknowledged the role of taxation in achieving a net-zero economy. Suggestions related to taxation generally fell into one of two categories:

  • tax to discourage activity contributing to emissions, and
  • tax as a means to generate revenue to repurpose for the common good - such as investing in developing the green economy or redistributing wealth to support communities through the transition.

3.4.50 Specific tax interventions relating to these two categories were provided by respondents and included taxation linked to the 'polluter pays' principle, progressive taxation (on wealth and on emissions) to address inequalities and taxation on food linked to harmful impacts on health or greenhouse gas emissions. Other requests included retention of 0% and 5% VAT rates on renewable energy installations; taxing households with more than two cars; a tax on Airbnbs; higher taxes on imports; shifting the burden of taxation from labour to the use of natural resources, including a land value tax; a tax on carbon; tax on goods with less than 30% recycled content; a model of taxation that encourages the use and adaptation of existing buildings over new developments; and tax breaks for locally sourced food delivery services. Other suggestions included encouraging and supporting renewable businesses by removing the increase in business rates that applies if a business installs onsite solar energy.

The taxation system favours new build construction over the retention, reuse and adaptation of existing buildings. The UK's Value Added Tax (VAT) system imposes a 20% tax rate on the repair, maintenance and refurbishment of existing buildings. New-build developments are tax free. Tax structures should be reviewed to provide parity for the use and adaptation of existing buildings. The plan-led system will be all the more important in meeting the challenges brought by the need to tackle both climate change and the economic recovery which is likely to be needed following the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government must reinforce the strong policy direction that any development and use of land is informed by a plan-led system. This must be underpinned by the policy principles of 'the right development in the right place' on an infrastructure first basis, including planning for our energy needs now and in the future. This will ensure that clear decisions are taken on where development should be directed, and the planning system should be resourced to support their implementation.

Historic Environment Scotland

The sector has moved at a fast pace to transition from a disposal culture to one which favours higher forms of waste treatment such as recycling, however, to maintain and accelerate this pace the sector will require continued support of policies which both incentives and disincentivise certain practices. Landfill tax moves material away from landfill. Tax on goods without a 30% recycled content incentivises change and creates demand. Extended Producer Responsibility regimes, if well designed can ensure that the true costs of goods become apparent, forces producers to take responsibility for goods at end-of-life and can also provide support to on-going revenue costs of dealing with those goods at end-of-life.

CIWM Scotland

Local Government

3.4.51 A broad mixture of changes was proposed on the theme of promoting the role of local authorities in achieving Scotland's net-zero goals. These included legislation and policies in relation to urban planning, the introduction of regional sustainability councils and an overall change to the planning system so that decisions are considered in relation to their contribution to achieving net-zero. Other suggestions included simplifying recycling processes, minimising waste, offering repair services, progressing low emission zones across the country and for the Scottish Government to provide local authorities with duties and funding to improve air quality.


3.4.52 The role for communities in supporting a transition was a key theme in many responses. Respondents anticipated a role for communities in supporting attitudes to change, behaviour change, fostering energy efficient ways of living and raising awareness of the need for a transition. These comments frequently included arguments in favour of circular economies and the role of individuals and communities in making the transition work, the role of community in enhanced wellbeing, civic empowerment and devolved decision making infrastructure (such as a Citizens Assembly) and the role of communities in local energy production and in small scale food growing.

3.4.53 A few highlighted an important need for the Scottish Government to work with and through local authorities to engage with local groups and communities. There was discussion of the place for the Community Empowerment Scotland Act (2015) and role of Community Planning Partnerships in shifting the balance of power and engaging communities in efforts to achieve a transition.

There should be priority, funding, and support given to communities to have their own communal growing schemes and land, whether that be throughout their community in an 'incredible edibles' way or a community garden etc. in line with the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, and community composting schemes should be stimulated. Priority should be given to the creation of local food markets and shops carrying local produce. This would stimulate the rural economy, increase small scale farming, reduce transport costs and emissions, encourage entrepreneurship and foster a sense of pride in community.



3.4.54 Some respondents anticipated significant changes to housing during the transition. From an economic perspective, they foresaw a need for investment to fund new approaches and to cover increased building and renovation costs. A few anticipated the creation of large numbers of new green jobs in housing, such as 'retrofitting buildings to meet insulation, water and energy exacting standards'. On social impacts, there were comments about the challenge of how to plan and achieve changes in housing. Some described positive social impacts arising from more energy efficient homes, such as a reduction in fuel poverty and lower costs for low-income households.

3.4.55 Often these comments focused on practical changes to homes and new house-building that could reduce emissions, such as introducing solar panel schemes for all houses in Scotland, offering grants or subsidies for people to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes and the adoption of Passivhaus standards. There were many comments about improving energy efficiency in homes, including calls for financial incentives to retrofit properties and to encourage owners and landlords to reduce household emissions.

3.4.56 There was also a strand of discussion about supporting local authorities - for example, through increasing their purchasing power - so they can purchase land and invest in green social housing schemes. Some urged the Scottish Government to learn from innovative approaches elsewhere, for example by offering subsidies to citizens for installing roof gardens, green roofs and living walls.

Social Security

3.4.57 Some respondents urged the Scottish Government to provide financial assistance to households with low levels of income. This was spoken of in general terms and in relation to a just transition; respondents explained that they expect basic costs to rise through the transition, with an adverse impact on low-income households. A few made specific calls for the introduction of a universal basic income.

Collaborative approaches and political campaigns

3.4.58 Calls for collaborative approaches to achieving net-zero were identified in several responses. Various stakeholders were mentioned, including multinational businesses, scientists, grassroot communities, landowners, the private sector, trade unions, campaign groups and involvement of the entire country through a specific national conversation on emissions. There was also mention of a need for greater cross-governmental exchange with a coordinated focus on reducing emissions at a UK, EU and international level. A small number of respondents urged the Scottish Government to identify and implement international examples of good practice.

Involve energy sector workers, climate activists, workers and communities in the process of building the new sustainable Scottish economy.



Email: justtransitioncommission@gov.scot

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