There has been a resurgence of awareness, among both the public and policymakers, in tackling climate change since early 2019. In Wales, the Welsh Government’s declaration of a ‘climate emergency’ in April 2019 has indicated a renewed commitment to decarbonisation.
Decarbonisation poses a range of challenges for governments, businesses and communities. Although there is widespread agreement on the need to decarbonise, the wider distributive implications of this transition require more attention. The concern that the transition towards a decarbonised economy might maintain or exacerbate existing socio-economic imbalances has led to calls for a ‘just’ transition. Rather than seeing decarbonisation as a threat to existing workforces and communities, proponents of this concept see this as an opportunity to create a more balanced and inclusive economy.
In the context of Wales, this raises several questions. First, where do the opportunities for a just transition lie in Wales? And second, what role might government and others play in helping secure such a transition?
The Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) has been attempting to harness views among organisations and individual experts working on this area through roundtables and other forms of engagement, as well as through carrying out desk-based research, to provide an initial reflection on these issues, and what implementation of a just transition might look like in Wales. The WCPP aim to publish a variety of outputs summarising our learnings in this space, including a report on moving towards a just transition in Wales, and an expert thinkpiece on developing a framework for action.