Just transition in land use and agriculture: a discussion paper

This discussion paper is intended to support engagement on a just transition for the land use and agriculture sectors. Building on this engagement, a draft targeted action plan and route map (late 23/24) will outline the key steps to delivering a fair transition.

The just transition plan process – what are we doing and why?

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.

Throughout the summer of 2023 and into early autumn, we will take forward engagement that will allow us to hear from those who live on and rely upon our land for their livelihoods and wellbeing, as well as from wider rural, island and coastal communities. By seeking your lived experience, we can begin to build a picture of what a just transition for land use and agriculture looks like.

This paper seeks to provide a basis for conversation. As you progress through the paper, the intention is to provide a summary overview of not just land use and agriculture, but wider rural Scotland. We start with Scotland's National Just Transition Outcomes, then journey through the overarching make up of Scotland's land with a high-level view of the socio-economic aspects of rural Scotland, spotlighting agriculture, forestry, and peatland. We present a draft vision for the future, the themes and recommendations of the Just Transition Commission and a set of draft land use and agriculture just transition outcomes.

The content of this paper is intended to be up for discussion, challenged, and built upon. There may be gaps in our evidence, approach and priorities. Our hope is that our engagement will identify or confirm these so that they can be addressed.

As outlined in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2019, the Scottish Government must seek to build social consensus in the way it plans for emissions reduction. In short, we want to ensure that people have an opportunity to provide input and that their input is tangible in the Plans we make, allowing everyone to feel a sense of ownership. This process is at the heart of our national just transition approach and policy. To help ensure our climate change policy is fair, we intend to co-design our just transition plans and meaningfully engage with those likely to be involved in the transition.

As we develop a draft plan for public consultation in late 2023 / early 2024, we will use our engagement to test different approaches. This will also help us identify where, and by whom, action can take place to support a just transition from all levels of government to businesses, workers, communities, and individuals.

This discussion paper is not only intended for use by the Scottish Government in its engagement; we ask that interested partners use it to facilitate conversations and provide input to the Land Use and Agriculture Just Transition team via the mailbox at LAJTP@gov.scot.

We will use the outputs of our engagement to refine the content and actions of the draft Plan.


Email: justtransition@gov.scot

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