Solutions

Create devolved ‘just transition’ funds

Create devolved ‘just transition’ funds

Government should devolve a proportion of its Green New Deal budget to support local just transition plans.

Addressing the ecological emergency can also help address the inequality crisis. Making the Green New Deal fair and driving its benefits into the places that most need them must be an explicit, legislative aim of a Green New Deal. In particular, places should be empowered to find their own routes to transition.

As part of the process of managing industrial change fairly, national government should devolve a proportion of its Green New Deal budget to new combined authorities to support their just transition plans. Of the 2% of GDP for a Green New Deal that the government should commit in its first budget, one-quarter (which would be around £10 billion in 2019/​20 terms) should be devolved to regional authorities in the first year, rising to half in year three.

As well as supporting regional capital investment via just transition plans, these funds would include resources for the reskilling of workers and paid time off to retrain, for education and to take part in the just transition process. This idea is based on the German short-time work compensation schemes’ where employers are supported with public funds to avoid unnecessary redundancies by temporarily reducing working hours to meet reduced output requirements, with wages maintained.

Central government must also disaggregate the national carbon budget to regions, which in the first instance would afford more emissions space to places that are currently dependent on higher carbon emissions. All regions would be obliged to reduce emissions in accordance with the national trajectory, but would have autonomy over how they achieved this, within the wider aims of the Green New Deal.

Policy in practice

Projects that demonstrate the benefits or may be helped by polices like this.

  • Preston Community Wealth Building
    Preston, recently named the UK's "most improved city", has pioneered more democratic ways to build local wealth.
  • Eckington Against Fracking
    Local residents battle multinational chemicals giant Ineos to prevent fracking.
  • The Clipper
    Local residents bought an empty pub and turned it into the city’s first community-owned market.
  • Homebaked
    Residents saved their iconic neighbourhood bakery and transformed it into a thriving community run-business.
  • The Annexe
    Hartlepool has one of the UK's highest unemployment rates, but new approaches aim to buoy local wealth.
  • Save Latin Village
    Small business owners are fighting plans to develop their north London home.
  • YnNi Teg
    YnNi Teg develops and builds renewable energy generators in Wales, funded by community shares.
  • Grays Riverside
    Thurrock network is strengthening community ties and building local wealth.
  • Isle of Eigg
    Community-owned Eigg has been labelled Britain's most eco-friendly island.
  • B4RN: Broadband for the Rural North
    Not-for-profit community benefit society provides one of the world's fastest broadband services.