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Charity leader appointed to lead prestigious government climate body

This news post is 9 months old

Satwat Rehman will take on the role of co-chair of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission. 

A leading charity chief executive has been appointed as one of the co-chairs of the group advising the Scottish Government on a zero-carbon economy that is fair for all. 

Scotland’s Just Transition Commission has new leadership following the appointment of Satwat Rehman and Prof. Dave Reay as co-chairs.

The pair will succeed Prof. Jim Skea, who led the Commission since its inception in 2019 but stepped down this month following his election to chair the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Satwat Rehman is the chief executive of One Parent Families Scotland and has been a member of the Commission since 2022. 

Satwat brings over thirty years’ experience working across the public and voluntary sectors on a range of social justice and equalities issues to the Just Transition Commission, to ensure we make a fair and equitable transition for people and communities most affected by poverty and inequalities.

She said: “As co-chair of the Just Transition Commission, I will draw on many years of work on social justice and equalities issues. So much hard work has gone into firmly establishing just transition as a shared goal in Scotland and that’s rightly recognised internationally. 

“Now it’s time to turn the aspiration into a reality. The cost of living crisis makes this really urgent and emphasises the need to ensure we have an orderly and just transition to net zero that addresses existing inequalities and does not create new ones. I’m honoured to lead the Commission into this next challenging phase.”

The independent expert advisory group advises the Scottish Government on how the country can achieve a carbon neutral economy fairly. It aims to make sure the benefits and burdens caused by major changes are shared as fairly as possible.

Members drawn from industry, business and finance, trade unions, environmental and community groups, and academia serve on the Commission. 

They provide expert scrutiny and advice on a series of just transition plans that cover different regions and sectors of Scotland’s economy.

Prof. Dave Reay will combine his new role as co-chair of the Commission with his work leading the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute.

Dave Reay said: “It is such an honour to be asked to co-chair the Just Transition Commission. In the years since its inception it has been a guiding light for climate action locally, nationally, and internationally too. As Scotland, and the whole world, faces increasingly stark choices on how to realise a fair and resilient transition to net zero the Commission's work has never been more important.”

Two weeks ago the Commission published a series of reports pinpointing major challenges and opportunities in bringing down carbon emissions across three key sectors of Scotland’s economy: transport, the built environment and construction industry, and land use and agriculture.

In its first regular report published last summer, the Commission said the cost-of-living crisis means major changes need to be made urgently to decarbonise the country’s economy, benefit those most in need and secure lots of good jobs.

Jim Skea added: “I’m delighted that the Commission will be led into its next phase by Satwat Rehman and Dave Reay. Both are outstanding leaders in their fields. Their deep knowledge of climate and justice issues, and their skill in building consensus, will be key in moving Scotland’s approach to just transition forward.”