University of Aberdeen: Researchers meet Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work

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Researchers from the University of Aberdeen’s Just Transition Lab presented research projects and discussed the current energy crisis with Richard Lochhead – Scottish Government Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, during his recent visit to our Old Aberdeen campus.

The Just Transition Lab focuses on the impact of the energy transition on workers, communities, and society in Aberdeen and the North East. The researchers presented to the minister and his team on the ongoing and future research projects of the lab.

The North-East of Scotland is at the forefront of the UK’s energy transition. ‘Just transition’ is a transition to the Net Zero future, in which opportunities and burdens are distributed more fairly. The Scottish Government formed the Just Transition commission in 2019.

Scottish climate change legislation further sets the principles for Just Transition which aim to support environmentally and socially sustainable jobs; develop and maintain social consensus through engagement with workers, trade unions, industry, and non-governmental organisations. The Commission’s recent report highlights the ongoing development of the Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan.

It was great to meet with the Minister and discuss our research, and how the work we are conducting at the lab can support just transition.”
Dr Daria Shapovalova
Just Transition Lab is a cross-School research group involving the Schools of Geosciences, Law, Social Sciences, and Business. Together, they work on advancing interdisciplinary impact-driven research on Just Transition. Lab researchers – Clare Bond, John Bone, Tavis Potts, Camilla Seeland, and Daria Shapovalova – work at the forefront of Just Transition challenges.

Despite the prominent role of Aberdeen in the energy transition, there is little data on how Just Transition is understood and should be enacted and monitored here. The Lab is hoping to change that – by working with community partners to create an evidence and participation-led understanding of Just Transition.

In addition to Aberdeen and North-East focused projects, the Lab is developing international collaborations with a focus on ‘energy capitals’ in transition around the world. Learn more about the Lab’s research projects here.

Dr Daria Shapovalova, lecturer in energy law, and coordinator of the Just Transition Lab, said: “It was great to meet with the Minister and discuss our research, and how the work we are conducting at the lab can support just transition. Working with colleagues in different disciplines and partner agencies gives us the best opportunity to achieve our goals.”

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