While the net-zero transition is expected to be a growth opportunity overall, it will make some industries, as well as some skillsets, obsolete, or in need of a costly adjustment. The just transition policy agenda has emerged as an important umbrella term to discuss the fair distribution of the costs and opportunities of the net-zero transition. Part of this agenda in particular aims to ensure that the transition is an opportunity rather than a threat for local economies and workers.  This webinar brings together a panel of experts and practitioners to explore the challenge of a just transition across local economies in the UK.

We will discuss the local economic impacts of the net-zero transition, and ask: what do we mean by a just transition? what does success look like? Is it sufficient to focus on active labour market policies and access to skills and training, or is a whole economy approach needed? Finally, we will consider what institutional reforms may be needed to bring about a just transition given the history of regionally unbalanced growth and the weak record of regional growth policies to date in countering these trends. 

Speakers and chair

Linda Clarke is Professor of European Industrial Relations in the Westminster Business School. Linda is also co-director of the Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment. Linda has expertise in the history of labour relations, vocational education and training, and in labour and climate transitions, in particular as it relates to the construction sector. 

Andy Gouldson is Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Leeds. His impact-oriented research focuses on promoting low-carbon and climate resilient development at the local and regional sclaes. Andy has built numerous bridges between disciplines and between academia and policy-making. For example, he is one of the founders and leads of the ESRC Place-based Climate Action Network and is one of the founders and Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission.

Charlotte Hartley is member of the Scottish Just Transition Commission, Trustee of the 2050 Climate Group and Engagement Strategist at Pale Blue Dot, which develops hydrogen and carbon capture projects in the UK. 

Andy Pike is the Sir Henry Daysh Chair of Reg Dev Studies at Newcastle University.  Andy’s research focuses on how regions and localities can govern their economic development in an international context while aiming for social and ecological progress. For example, his work has shed light on structural change and adaptation in British cities, the impact of financialization on local infrastructure, and the manufacturing renaissance in industrial regions and local industrial policy. 

The panel will be chaired by Marion Dumas, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. Marion’s current research combines economics and political economy to study the drivers of clean innovation, industrial policy and just transition policies.

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