The UK faces an uneven decarbonisation challenge, with some regions and industries under particular pressure to reduce emissions. Many of the places and communities most acutely affected are also the least equipped to shape transition plans that deliver a good deal for workers.
Yorkshire and the Humber have suffered from decades of industrial decline, but it still relies disproportionately on carbon-intensive industries including steel, cement, chemicals, energy generation, and food and drink production. Workers and trade unions are understandably sceptical of the rhetoric around transition, given that past transitions – notably the decline of mining and manufacturing – have scarred communities and left a trail of social and economic destruction in their wake. This time must be different. The layers of distrust that often characterise inter-regional, inter-movement, and industrial relations must be peeled back by a concerted effort to make this transition fair.
This report gives an overview of the challenge of ensuring a just transition to a low-carbon economy – that is to say, an industrial transition that empowers workers and communities through the process itself – in Yorkshire and the Humber.