Enabling a Just Transition to Net Zero: a Manifesto for Change

Rachel Bray, Rebecca Ford

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Transition to a net-zero energy system provides society with an opportunity to embed justice principles and practices across the energy sector in order to achieve a transition that is not just ‘green’ but also ‘just’. The just transition concept, born out of international trade union movements, takes into account the rights of the workforce and encourages the creation of decent work and quality jobs. It maintains that the burden of climate action should not be borne unequally by one set of workers or communities or any one country. However, the concept today is much broader than its labour and workforce-focussed roots; it encompasses the transition of the whole of society over time from one that is inherently extractive and unsustainable to one that is regenerative and more sustainable. To achieve this broader ‘whole of society’ transition many stakeholders need to take action. However, there are a range of challenges that impact their capacity to make these justice outcomes happen, and limited accountability mechanisms for supporting delivery. While some of these challenges can be overcome through a change in internal processes, many result from the interactions between different stakeholders, either in driving action or holding organisations to account. To be more ambitious in delivery therefore there is a need to develop cross-organisational and cross-community commitments to take more joined up action and ambition.

This Manifesto for Change was developed as the final output from the ALIGN project1 and was developed by bringing together stakeholders from across national and local government, business and industry, trade unions, finance, community organisations and the third sector to hear their ambitions for a just energy transition by 2045. We did this by way of a half-day online workshop held in February 2022 in conjunction with the Just Transition Engagement Team at Scottish Government.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781914241192
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Net Zero
  • climate change
  • energy efficiency
  • energy transition


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