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Opportunities for global leadership during a Just Transition

Published 04 June 2019 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has today given evidence to the Just Transition Commission. In our evidence, we make clear that the Transport sector is the most problematic for Scotland, with emissions that have barely dropped since 1990. There are however multiple benefits from decarbonising the transport sector to jobs, economy, health and well being from a whole system approach to active and sustainable transport as part of a just transition.

Jess Pepper, Enterprise Manager at Transform Scotland, speaking on the problems with the current focus said:

“The Scottish Government Climate Change Plan, UK Climate Change Committee and other advice largely focus on Electric Vehicles as the solution to tackle emissions from transport. EVs must have a role to play, but as the primary focus of our transition effort, this would overlook the important contribution of active travel and public transport. The current problem in transport is that capital expenditure priorities are focused on new road building, generating more traffic, exacerbating health inequalities, congestion and inefficiencies.”

Speaking on the huge opportunities a Just Transition would bring to the transport sector Jess said:

“Scotland should be directing investment into active and public transport, to be safe, accessible and affordable for all. This would be a fair and inclusive vision for transport in Scotland. It would generate multiple benefits, for everyone.”

On the important idea of a change of mindset in transport decision making Jess said:

“As a nation, we should also be addressing the ways we work, where we work and considering how we move around. This means achieving integration with strategic infrastructure and investment decisions. As in waste, we are encouraged to reduce, reuse, recycle – in transport we should be seeking to ‘avoid, shift, improve’ our means of travelling around.”

Our full response to the Just Transition Commission is available here.