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New members appointed to Scotland’s Just Transition Commission

This news post is 11 months old

Representatives from Scotland’s third sector are included in the group.

Scotland’s Just Transition Commission has boosted its membership with several new appointments. 

The new commissioners bring expert knowledge of the big changes underway to reduce carbon emissions in Scotland’s transport system, buildings, construction industry, land use, and farming.

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.

The new Commissioners are Prof. Jillian Anable, a world expert in reducing carbon emissions from transport systems, Stephen Good, CEO at Built Environment -- Smarter Transformation, the national centre for innovation in construction and building work, Prof. Steven Thompson of Scotland’s Rural College, and Deborah Long, who leads Scottish Environment LINK, the network for environmental non-governmental organisations in Scotland.

Rachel McEwen, chief sustainability officer at the energy company SSE, will now serve for the lifetime of the Commission having initially been appointed to support work on energy.

Deborah Long, chief officer at Scottish Environment LINK, said: “Meeting net zero isn’t just about climate change. We can’t meet net zero without restoring nature. To do both, we need to work together to build the resilience of our natural, cultural and social systems for a better future. 

“Vital to our success will be actions to ensure we hand onto future generations healthier wildlife and habitats that provide essential services like flood protection and pollination as well as the joy of experiencing nature wherever you live in Scotland. 

“As a new Just Transition Commissioner, I look forward to contributing to this vital task, protecting what we have and endowing it to future generations, in better condition and accessible to all of Scotland’s people.”

In its first regular report published in July, 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.

A draft just transition plan on the energy sector was published in January and is currently open to public consultation.

The Commission is chaired by Prof. Jim Skea CBE, a climate scientist and a member of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body whose reports have played a key role in shaping global understanding of the climate emergency over the past 30 years.

The commission visited Dundee to hear directly from local people about transport issues, engaging with local policymakers over how to reduce carbon emissions from the city’s transport system in a fair way.

Professor Skea said: “I warmly welcome our new Just Transition Commission members and look forward to their contribution to our challenging agenda. 

“They will play an important role in advising and scrutinising the work of the Scottish Government in ensuring we get to Net Zero in a fair way that makes the most of the opportunities of this major economic transformation.”