A national taskforce to advise on how Scotland achieves a carbon-neutral economy has been launched.

The Just Transition Commission, a commitment under the Programme for Government, will look at how to maximise opportunities of decarbonisation, in terms of fair work and tackling inequalities, while delivering a sustainable and inclusive labour market.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham announced that Professor Jim Skea OBE is to chair the Commission, as she spoke at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

She said:
“Scotland has been widely praised internationally for our work to tackle climate change, and I am absolutely determined that there be no let-up in our efforts.

“Our transition to a carbon-neutral economy is already well underway. With Scottish emissions almost halving since 1990, and 49,000 jobs already supported in our low carbon sector, I want to ensure we benefit fully from leading the global transition to low-carbon.

“Part of the Paris Climate Agreement, just transition is about transitioning to a low-carbon economy in a way that is socially inclusive. A key principle is that no-one gets left behind as the employment landscape shifts.

“I am delighted Professor Jim Skea has agreed to Chair the Commission and advise on how we continue the transition in a way that promotes inclusive growth, cohesion and equality, and I look forward to working with him over the next two years.”

Professor Skea said:

“The idea of a just transition is embedded in the Paris agreement. The challenge now is to turn the concept into practical action that shares widely and fairly the benefits of the low carbon transition. Scotland is taking a lead internationally, and I am flattered to be invited to chair the Commission. The challenge in two years is to come up with advice that is actionable and commands the support of stakeholders.”