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We need a ‘just transition’

We need a ‘just transition’ 6 January 2021

Why we need a ‘just transition’ for reaching net zero in the UK (via The Independent)

By Daisy Dunne

If the UK is to reach net–zero emissions by 2050, we will need to make changes to many aspects of our lives, from the types of cars we drive to the food we eat.

The country’s most highly polluting industries, such as the oil and gas sector, will need a complete overhaul if we are to meet climate targets. This could, in turn, bring changes for people employed by these sectors.  

A new report by Onward, a centre–right think tank, looks at how many people in the UK are currently employed by highly polluting industries, and where in the country they are most likely to live. The report finds that more than half of jobs in highly emitting industries are in the Midlands and north of England and in Scotland.

Media coverage of the report centres around job losses, with publications suggesting that the north and the Midlands will be disproportionately affected by the plans – and one claiming 10 million jobs are at risk.

However, the report itself does not claim that the UK’s net–zero target will lead to 10 million job losses. Instead it states that up to 10 million jobs could be “disrupted by the transition to net zero over the next three decades”. But this “disruption” could be either positive or negative, according to the report.

“The industrial and manufacturing heartlands in the Midlands and north are far more likely to experience economic disruption during the net zero transition than the southeast and London,” the report says. “This may be positive – in the form of new green jobs, or it may be negative through job losses – but the fact remains some places will be affected more than others.”

Read the full story here…