18 Jun 2020

“Deliver jobs of the future”: CIFF calls on the Scottish Government for a green economic recovery

CIFF releases a set of recommendations to the Scottish Government, supporting Scotland's journey to be a net zero emissions economy by 2045.

On the 18th of June 2020, CIFF published a set of recommendations to the Scottish Government, to deliver a green economic recovery and a fair transition to net zero. In support of these recommendations CIFF’s Chair, Dr Graeme Sweeney, has also published an op-ed in The National, available here.

CIFF believes that the economic recovery and Scotland’s just transition to net zero emissions by 2045 should be aligned. Whilst the Scottish government has already taken necessary steps to address the immediate threat to public health from Covid-19, the crisis has highlighted the importance of preparing for systemic risks, and the rapid changes that leaders, businesses and people can make in times of crisis.

With this in mind, it is vital to align Scotland’s plans for economic recovery and jobs with a just transition to net zero emissions. As highlighted by the Committee on Climate Change, important policy decisions need to be made in the next 12-18 months to set Scotland on course to reach net zero by 2045.

Scotland also has the opportunity to lead the world in placing fairness at the heart of its transition to net zero. In a time of acute crisis, bold action is needed to create green jobs and re-absorb workers who have lost employment due to the Covid-19 crisis while advancing Scotland’s Basic Income agenda. The Just Transition Commission’s Interim Report highlights how the transition to net zero can provide an opportunity to address existing inequalities while taking action to ensure that new ones do not develop. An ambitious domestic plan will also strengthen Scotland’s key role as host of COP26 in Glasgow.

CIFF’s key recommendations to Scottish Government include the following:

  1. Employ and train thousands of designers, builders and installers to protect homes and public buildings from cold and damp with low-carbon heating (especially heat pumps), energy and water efficiency, passive cooling, ventilation and thermal comfort, and property-level flood resilience.
  2. Create a ‘Green Land Army’ to deliver tree planting, peatland restoration and green infrastructure. It would boost biodiversity, provide better access to nature while supporting rural and urban economies countrywide, and protecting people and businesses from future natural disasters.
  3. Expand and improve clean transport infrastructure with investment to improve cycle and walking infrastructure and in rolling out rural electric vehicle charging. Regulate a zero emissions zone in cities from 2030 to directly reduce emissions and support low carbon vehicle uptake
  4. Accelerate the deployment of renewables. Upgrading ports and shipyards for the offshore wind supply chain, manufacturing facilities for offshore wind turbines and distributed renewables generation
  5. Retrain and redeploy Scottish jobs in the North Sea as the highly-skilled workforce in future low-carbon industries, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen and offshore and remote island wind.
  6. Pioneer a Universal Basic Income to place fairness at the heart of Scotland’s green recovery as we transition away from the furlough scheme. A sum of money paid to everyone in Scotland could ease poverty, increase the resilience of those most vulnerable to climate impacts, cut through the complexities of the benefits system, and help support people into good jobs. Basic Income could be funded via carbon pricing, to further support the transition to net zero.


CIFF’s Chair, Dr Graeme Sweeney, who is also a member of the Scottish First Minister’s Energy Advisory Board said:

“It would be a mistake to prop up failing, polluting industries when we can build a fairer Scotland with the planet and our children at its heart. Let’s insulate homes, plant trees and invest in renewables and new technologies. In just 18 months time, we’ll be opening our doors to the world at the COP climate conference in Glasgow, we can show the world what a modern, sustainable economy looks like.”


To see the set of recommendations in full, please see the link below. To view Dr Graeme Sweeney’s article in The National, click here.