New British Academy reports explore sectors and industries’ sustainability transition
7 Jul 2022
The British Academy today builds on its response to the climate crisis, publishing nine in-depth studies exploring how global supply and value chains can transition to more sustainable and environmental models.
Drawing on research funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the reports focus on the action required to lead ‘just transitions’ towards more sustainable economies and societies in different sectors and industries around the globe.
- shed light on the complexities and unintended consequences of just transitions
- examine how the benefits of decarbonisation can be widely shared
- consider how best to support those who will be negatively impacted by such transitions.
They include a look at how to achieve just transitions in the forestry sector and an analysis of responsible extraction of metals for renewable energy, and explore how to make space for dialogue on just transitions in Africa’s oil and gas producing regions.
The Academy has also published a policy summary and synthesis which outlines key findings, ideas and lessons from across the research projects.
The research projects were funded under the ‘Just Transitions Within Sectors and Industries Globally’ research programme and follow a series of reports on just transitions which were published by the British Academy during COP26.
Professor Simon Goldhill FBA, the British Academy’s Foreign Secretary, said:
“Addressing the social and economic effects of decarbonisation will be key to achieving just transitions globally yet doing so is complex and challenging. From analysing the prevalence of modern slavery in the global solar energy supply chain to exploring the viability of so-called giga factories in the UK, these reports underline the importance of paying close attention to the needs and impacts of just transitions in different sectors and industries.
“This work also demonstrates just how vital expertise in the SHAPE disciplines (the Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy) is to finding fair and practical solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.
“We hope policymakers find important, new insights in these reports and ideas for shaping current policy.”
The full list of reports is:
- "Rare Earth Elements, Global Inequalities and the ‘Just Transition’" – Dr Mandy Sadan, University of Warwick; Professor Dan Smyer Yu; The University of Cologne
- "'The Energy of Freedom'? Solar energy, modern slavery and the just transition" – Professor James Cockayne, University of Nottingham; Dr Oana Burcu, University of Nottingham; Mr Siddarth Kara, University of Nottingham; Ms Kristina Michaelides, University of Nottingham; Dr Edgar Rodríguez-Huerta, University of Nottingham
- "The ‘Net’ in Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Achieving Just Transitions in the Forestry Sector Through Climate Policy Integration and Learning" – Dr Katharina Rietig, Newcastle University; Dr Graham Long, Newcastle University
- "Wind Energy and the Just Transition: Political and socio-economic pinch points in wind turbine manufacturing and windfarm communities in Europe and South Africa" – Dr Lisa Schulte, Middlesex University; Dr Sian Stephens, Middlesex University; Dr Charles Umney, University of Leeds
- "Just-in-Time Transition? Industrial sustainability, decent work and the production of climatic precarity in the Cambodian garment industry" – Dr Laurie Parsons, Royal Holloway, University of London; Mr Wim Conklin, Solidarity Center, Cambodia; Dr Sabina Lawreniuk, University of Nottingham; Dr Serey Sok, Royal University of Phnom Penh
- "Decarbonising and Diversifying Defence in the United Kingdom and United States: A workers’ enquiry for a just transition" – Dr Karen Bell, University of West England Bristol; Dr Keith Mc Loughlin, University of Bristol; Professor Vivian Price, California State University; Dr Lara Skinner, Cornell University
- "Making Space for Dialogue on Just Transitions in Africa’s Oil and Gas Producing Regions" – Dr Alex Shankland, Institute of Development Studies; Dr Salvador Forquilha, Institute for Social and Economic Studies; Miss Victoria Ihuoma Ohaeri, Spaces for Change, Nigeria; Mr Amos Wemanya, Power Shift Africa
- "The Justice Dimensions of Extracting Energy Transition Metals from the Pacific" – Dr Emilka Skrzypek, University of St Andrews; Dr Nicholas Bainton, University of Queensland; Dr John Burton, University of Queensland
- "Enabling a Just Transition in Automotive: Evidence from the West Midlands and South Australia" – Professor Alex De Ruyter, Birmingham City University; Dr Sally Weller, University of South Australia