NFLA publishes report on the need for a ‘Just Transition’ to help communities and protects jobs in mitigating and adapting to climate change. The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today a detailed analysis on the work of the Just Transition Commission in Scotland and the importance of such policies being delivered across the UK and Ireland. The necessity of tackling climate change requires a move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables. In the view of the NFLA, the long time and huge cost required to build new nuclear facilities means they are not a practical alternative within a ‘just transition’, whilst there are extensive costs in nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management that will keep jobs in this sector going well into the next century. There are lots of jobs in the fossil fuel and related sectors, and it is important, given the lessons that took place from the end of the mining industry, to transfer these jobs and skills to other sectors as carefully and as fairly as possible. A ‘Just Transition’ was included, following extensive international trade union lobbying, in the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement in reference to providing “a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs”. The NFLA report focuses on, and very much welcomes, the work of the Scottish Just Transition Commission, which has reported to the Scottish Government. Its final report, published just before the recent Scottish Parliament elections, had four key conclusions. These included: Pursue an orderly, managed transition to net-zero that creates benefits and opportunities for people across Scotland. Delivery of this must be a national mission. Just transition roadmaps will give direction and confidence, driving investment that brings jobs, skills and value. Equip people with the skills and education they need to benefit from the transition. A just transition is shaped by Scotland’s citizens, not imposed on them – empowers and invigorates communities and strengthens local economies. Share benefits widely and ensure burdens are distributed on the basis of ability to pay. In this way a just transition refocuses on wellbeing; it uses the power of government intervention and public finance (such as the Scottish National Investment Bank and public pension funds) to drive action; it explores new funding methods for local projects; it fully explores the distributional impact of taxes; it ensures new technologies and services are delivered in a way that works for people, and improves the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. For the NFLA, this ground-breaking report could be a blueprint for action not just in Scotland, but provide detail for the rest of the UK, Ireland and the wider European Union.
NFLA 3rd Aug 2021 read more »