Link Series: Conceptualising socially inclusive environmental policy: a just transition to net Zero and its relevance to DWP

Lucie Middlemiss, Carolyn Snell, Emily Morrison, Yekaterina Chzhen, Tania Carregha, Samanthi Theminimulle, Anne Owen, Gill Main, Kelli Kennedy

The climate crisis looms large behind the cost of living crisis, as a further threat to the wellbeing and good health of humanity. The policy area addressing the climate crisis in the UK, ‘Net Zero’, will impact on many aspects of people’s everyday life. In this talk we present a framework for thinking about a just transition to Net Zero, along with some initial results from participatory research in low-income communities, with particular reference to the policy interests of DWP. Our framework starts with an understanding of the current challenges faced by many households and communities: we think it is critical to understand people’s different starting points, in order to understand who is likely to be ready to participate.

Taking a people-centred approach, we characterise the kinds of change that households and communities are likely to experience under Net Zero, in order to articulate the barriers to participation. We modify the Bristol Social Exclusion Model’s (B-SEM) four arenas of participation required for social inclusion (economic, social, employment education and skills, and political) helping us to identify the opportunities and barriers to a socially inclusive Net Zero. The arenas of participation that particularly face DWP are economic participation and employment, education and skills (although we also recognise knock on effects in other areas of everyday life where these are disrupted). We will talk through both of these in detail, bringing them to life with some examples from our fieldwork in low-income communities in Leeds and Newcastle. We finish by making some recommendations for policy in this area, including the need to work across departments to help vulnerable households and communities engage in Net Zero.

Microsoft Teams meeting

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 376 506 839 193Passcode: 6EFAHN