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Unions call for 'Just Transition' commission

Unions call for 'Just Transition' commission

The TUC has published “A just transition to a greener, fairer economy” – a roadmap to meeting the needs of working people in the transition to a low-carbon economy.


  • 08 Jul 2019

Green Energy

It is being formally launched at an event on Monday, 8 July with speakers including shadow environment secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and deputy chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Baroness Brown.

The roadmap sets out proposals for:

  1.  A Just Transition Commission: a cross-party national commission including business, consumers and unions to plan a clear and funded path to a low-carbon economy.
  2. Workplace Transition Agreements: to put workers’ voices at the heart of transition plans in every workplace where change is required.
  3. Transition skills funding: so that every worker has access to training in the new skills needed for a low carbon economy, and guaranteed pathways to new work.
  4. Employment standard protections: to ensure new jobs in the low carbon economy are not of lower quality than jobs that are changed or superseded.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Trade unions are committed to addressing the climate emergency. A greener economy can be a fairer economy too, with new work and better jobs right across Britain.

“It’s vital to avoid the mistakes of the 1980s, when industrial change devastated communities because workers had no say. This time we need a plan that everyone can get behind, with workers’ voices at the heart of it.

“That’s why we’re calling for a politicians, businesses, consumers and unions to make those plans together, through a Just Transition Commission.”

Speaking ahead of the report’s launch, Sue Ferns, senior deputy general secretary of Prospect,  said:

“As a union with thousands of workers in all parts of the energy industry, this call for a clear plan for a just transition to low carbon will be welcomed by our members.

“Our members in renewables and nuclear are already at the cutting edge of producing low-carbon energy to tackle dangerous climate change. With a proper plan we can generate thousands more safe unionised green jobs too.

“Unfortunately the lack of clear direction and investment from the current government fails to learn the painful lessons of the 1980s risks some communities behind left behind as high carbon energy ends.”

A number of Prospect members contributed to the TUC report with their first-hand experiences of Just Transition.