City of Bristol Just Transition Declaration
A Just Transition Declaration has been written to join Bristol’s Climate and Ecological Emergency Declarations and strategies. It is not an action plan but a set of 10 principles that everyone working on climate change and nature loss in the city can use to make their plans as fair as possible. Please read the declaration and get your organisation to sign up.
Full information on the sign up process – sign up process
Language translations and BSL and Easy Read versions will be coming in the new year.
What is a just transition?
Just transition is about how to make work on climate change and nature loss fair. The problems made by climate change and nature loss are often worse for people from disadvantaged groups. This is the term we are using to talk about people who are often treated unfairly. For example, people without much money often have to live in areas that are more likely to be flooded. And more floods are going to happen because of climate change.
Bristol has promised to make big changes so that the city can be better for nature and climate change by the year 2030. These changes could make things even more unfair for disadvantaged groups and workers if they aren’t thought about in the planning. For example if people are stopped from using their cars but buses aren’t cheap then it will be hard to move around. And if people lose their jobs because they’re bad for the planet with being given different work then this can be very difficult.
So a just transition is about making sure that the needs of everyone are thought about when making changes. That way the changes can make the city more fair, not less. It won’t be an easy journey. Yet we are excited about it because it is about making the city and future that we all want to live in.
Where did the declaration come from?
In December 2022 four Bristol climate change activists from disadvantaged groups (Emma Geen, Olivia Sweeney, Kirsty Hammond and Rachel Moffat) went on a trip led by the USA Embassy. When they came back they asked the Mayor to make a Just Transition Declaration for Bristol. The Mayor agreed and asked them to write it. The four activists then talked to community groups and unions to ask them what should go into the declaration.
This work was without any funding so there were limits on the conversations the activists could have. However, they now have funding to talk to even more communities and workers so that the next version of the declaration can come from as many people as possible.
You can talk to the team behind the declaration by emailing BristolJTDeclaration@gmail.com.
Climate Change: The planet is getting too hot because of how people are using dirty fuels like petrol and diesel. This is leading to lots of problems locally and around the world.
Declaration: Something that is said to show how someone thinks and feels about something. It is a promise to act in a certain way.
Dirty fuels: This the word we are using fuels like petrol and gas. These fuels are making climate change happen.
Disadvantaged groups: People who are treated unfairly because of the group they belong to or because they don’t have much money. For example, Black and Brown people, people from an ethnic minority background, working class people, Disabled people, refugees, women, trans people, older people and LGBTQ+ people.
Just transition: When a place changes how it works and lives so that it isn’t causing damage to the planet and nature but in a fair way.
Plain English: This is when writing or talking makes sure not to use difficult words or jargon. This makes it more accessible so that more people are able to understand. We have written this document in Plain English.
Principles: A set of statements that says how something is going to be done. They show what is thought to be important in how something is done.
Unions: When workers get together to protect their rights and make their workplaces better.
The Just Transition Declaration work is not the work of Bristol City Office, One City or Bristol City Council. Support has been a small amount of staff time to help administrate, endorsing the Declaration at Cabinet, and promoting for other partner organisations to sign up to the declaration.
The four lead authors are:
Kirsty Hammond, activist for marginalised geographic communities
Emma Geen, disability climate justice activist
Olivia Sweeney, intersectional environmentalist
Rachel Moffat, community energy activist
All four express their gratitude to all the community organisations who input including Suzanne Wilson at Lockleaze Neighbourhood Trust and Emily Fifield at Easton Community Trust, also Anna Markova from the Trade Unions Congress (TUC).