This document provides our initial response to the final report of the Just Transition Commission.
We welcome the breadth and scale of the Commission's approach. We have already taken action on some recommendations, but there remains much to do. This document is our statement of intent, laying the foundations for all our work on just transition, both for the lifespan of this Parliament and beyond.
It sets out our long-term vision for just transition and provides details on our National Just Transition Planning Framework. This report also outlines how Government will be held to account on the delivery of just transition – both in terms of how we're approaching the transition and how we're achieving outcomes that align with our vision for a fairer, greener Scotland.
These foundations will also inform the development of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, the refreshed Energy Strategy (which will be our first specific Just Transition Plan), the delivery of subsequent specific Just Transition Plans and the next Climate Change Plan. Taken together, these elements will set out a comprehensive Green Industrial Strategy for Scotland.
What is a just transition?
A just transition is both the outcome – a fairer, greener future for all – and the process that must be undertaken in partnership with those impacted by the transition to net zero. Just transition is how we get to a net zero and climate resilient economy, in a way that delivers fairness and tackles inequality and injustice.
It is essential that this process is co-designed and co-delivered. We commit to leading the way in the coordination of a series of specific Just Transition Plans, showing the process of just transition in action.
The policy context for a just transition
We currently have a carbon-intensive economy that, in common with other economies, operates beyond what our planetary boundaries can sustain. This cannot continue.
A just, net zero future is within our reach if we act now. Our actions will be informed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and EU Exit. We are operating within a global economy, and we know that many of the 'policy levers' are held elsewhere. We're also managing longer-term trends that are impacting our economy, such as productivity challenges, automation and demographic change. Alongside the just transition to net zero, these challenges will define this decisive decade.
Our strategic approach to just transition supports the development of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET). The NSET will be supported by specific Just Transition Plans for reinvigorating Scottish manufacturing and industry, supporting Scottish supply chains and creating high-quality jobs.
Building just transition into our economic strategy in this way provides a unique opportunity to work with all parts of our economy to deliver a fairer, greener Scotland.