Letters: ‘A Just Transition’

Dear Orkney News,

There was an interesting discussion online (Sunday 7th November 2021) with the theme of what a “Just Transition” would look like for Orkney, and how we might get there.

The obvious starting point is to concede that we have massive problems of inequity in Orkney right now. Even before the huge cost increases for electricity and fossil fuels, Orkney had just about the worst levels of fuel poverty in the United Kingdom. The price rises just increase the existing pain.

In order to tackle the problems we face, we need to locate the best location for solutions to be designed and implemented. Is this at the local community level, Holyrood or Westminster? It seems obvious to me that as the folk living in a community know it best, then that is where the solutions and implementation should be based. The problem arising is that the tools needed are currently mainly held by Holyrood and Westminster.

As it happens, the Rural Affairs, Island and Natural Environment Committee (RAINE) at Holyrood will this winter be looking at the effects of COP26, followed by the Islands Act (Scotland) 2018. It occurs to me that it might be good if interested Citizens, Councillors and Orkney based organisations contacted the RAINE committee with regards to the “Just Transition” agenda and how Orkney can bring forward our own solutions to deliver an equitable and just zero carbon future for us all.

Worth trying? If so, the RAINE committee can be contacted at rural.committee@parliament.scot.

Jon Southerington, Orkney

Image credit Martin Laird

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