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SSE publishes Just Transition strategy

18 Nov 2020

SSE has broken new ground to be the first company to publish a “Just Transition” plan, which will help to protect workers and communities as the UK moves towards net zero.

The business committed to publish the strategy following engagement with investors at its AGM in August this year.

Supporting a Just Transition outlines how SSE will approach the social implications of delivering net zero; from jobs and training, to working with communities and ensuring no one is left behind.

SSE’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Rachel McEwen, said: “The transition to net zero will be transformational and there are fantastic opportunities to clean up our energy systems and generate economic prosperity.

“The rapid move towards net zero brings a risk that some people are left behind – perhaps those without opportunity to reskill into the low-carbon industries or unable to access the benefits of the new energy system.

“We are clear that it is in everyone’s interests that fairness is baked into net-zero transition plans. We are equally clear that companies like SSE, have a role to play.

“It means working to attract people from high-carbon industries to low-carbon roles, actively supporting greater diversity in our workforce, and anticipating how we can enable vulnerable customers to engage in new smart electricity systems.

“With considered intervention through advocacy, partnership action and thoughtful policies and practice, SSE can help bring about positive social consequences and contribute to a just transition to net zero.”

SSE is investing £4m a day in low-carbon energy and electricity infrastructure over the next five years.

The company is leading development of the world’s largest offshore windfarm in Dogger Bank, off the coast of Yorkshire, Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm in Seagreen off the coast of Angus, and one of Europe’s most productive onshore windfarms in Viking on the Shetland Islands – three projects that are creating more than 1,000 skilled, green jobs.

It has also committed to reducing the carbon intensity of its electricity production by 60% by 2030 based on 2018 levels and has signed up to reaching net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Rachel McEwen, a member of the Just Transition Commission in Scotland, added: “SSE is at the forefront of leading the low-carbon transition in the UK and Ireland, we only have the consent and legitimacy to do that if it is done in a fair way.

“This strategy is just the beginning of the dialogue and we hope it will help deliver fairness in the shared endeavor of achieving a net zero carbon world.”

Supporting a Just Transition sets out 20 principles which SSE will follow to ensure that the impacts from the decisions it takes are fair and that it maximise the opportunities for communities to benefit from net zero.

The principles sit under five key themes: good green jobs, consumer fairness, building and operating new assets, looking after people in high-carbon jobs, supporting communities.

Read more here.