First member of Scots carbon-neutral commission announced

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The first members of a Scottish climate change committee have been announced following a pledge to become carbon neutral.

Scotland’s Just Transition Commission was set up by the Scottish Government to examine how to maximise the social and economic opportunities offered by moving to a carbon-neutral economy in response to the Paris Agreement.

The commission, chaired by Professor Jim Skea, has now named its first three members: Charlie Hartley, Professor Karen Turner and Tom Shields.

Announcing the membership while attending the 24th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Poland, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “We are committed to achieving carbon neutrality while growing a sustainable economy that improves the opportunities, life chances and wellbeing of every citizen of Scotland, and I am absolutely determined that this will be done in a way that is socially inclusive.

“That is why I previously announced that Professor Jim Skea would chair a commission to explore how the transition to carbon neutrality can help us meet our other economic and social ambitions.

“I am now delighted to confirm the appointment of the commission’s initial members.

“We are clear that no-one should be left behind in our move to a carbon-neutral economy and that this should deliver fair work, and I look forward to working with the commission over the next two years to make this a reality.”

Ms Hartley, who is also member of the 2050 Climate Group that engages with young people in Scotland to take action on climate change, works for a firm leading the carbon capture project in Aberdeenshire.

Prof Turner is the founding director of the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Energy Policy and her work focuses on delivering a just transition and addresses key questions about distributional effects, employment and GDP. She also has numerous advisory roles with national and international policy bodies.

Mr Shields is chief executive officer of Spring Rise, a consultancy providing support to chemical processing, waste recycling and renewable energy industries.

He currently sits on the UK Government’s Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage Council and is acting chair of the Chemical Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group.

The Scottish Government says that more members will be appointed in the coming weeks with representation expected from industry, business, trade unions, environmental groups and academic experts.

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