Grant to help transition to net zero announced by First Minister

The First Minister is set to announce a £100,000 annual trade union grant at a congress in Aberdeen on Monday.

Grant to help transition to net zero announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon iStock

Nicola Sturgeon is to announce a £100,000 annual trade union grant to help in Scotland’s just transition to net zero.

The First Minister will tell the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) annual congress in Aberdeen on Monday the money will be used to help support a fair approach to significantly cutting people’s environmental impact.

She said: “The unions, through the creation of the Just Transition Commission, have already been fundamental to our policy thinking about a just transition.

“This funding will ensure that they continue to be vital, as we get on with delivering good, green jobs and a truly just transition.”

The STUC will use the taxpayer cash to help co-ordinate worker engagement, share best practice, and provide policy support.

A just transition supports a net-zero and climate resilient economy, the Scottish Government said, in a way that delivers fairness and tackles inequality and injustice.

Sturgeon added: “The Scottish Government economic strategy rests on the idea that by supporting those who are in poverty, by delivering a just transition, by supporting fair work – we can help people to fulfil their potential and to contribute to our economy and our society.

“That’s a principle which I know the STUC is also committed to. It’s why they are valuable partners, and also important sources of challenge, as we work to create a fairer, greener Scotland.”

Roz Foyer, the STUC’s general secretary, said that the “trade union movement has been at the forefront of pushing for a just transition, ensuring climate justice is entwined with workers’ voices”.

“This funding, in addition to the work ongoing within the Just Transition Commission, will ensure we hold business, Government and all other stakeholders to account,” she said.

“We must secure good, green jobs, we must not leave communities abandoned and we must place fair work and workers’ voices at the heart of any just transition.”

In the Programme for Government, Holyrood ministers said they would establish a Just Transition Plan for all sectors, with the energy industry due to be the first – published alongside a new energy strategy.

But, last month, the Scottish Government announced it had delayed its Just Transition Plan until the autumn due to the “fast-moving energy landscape”.

Michael Matheson, Net Zero Secretary, confirmed the delay in an answer to a parliamentary question on March 30.

A just transition, Mr Matheson said, is a “non-negotiable aspect of our journey to net zero”.

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