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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission

About the Commission

The IPPR Environmental Justice Commission (EJC) is a landmark initiative building
on IPPR’s award winning work on environmental breakdown and its Commission
for Economic Justice. The commission is co-chaired by Caroline Lucas, Hilary Benn and Laura
Sandys, and they are joined by commissioners drawn from business, activism,
academia, civil society, and trade unionism.

The central aim of the commission is to develop a positive vision and a
plan to tackle the climate and nature crises by bringing about an economic
transformation, building resilience and realising the substantial opportunities
to address underlying economic and social inequalities. As the UK and countries
around the world seek to recover from the havoc wreaked by Covid-19, minds
will focus on how to rebuild the UK’s economy to ensure it is stronger and more
resilient and therefore the work of the commission is ever more essential.

The commissioners start from the view that people must be at the heart of
the transformation to a net zero economy and the restoration of our natural
world. This transformation must build an economy that is vibrant and successful
through investment in the future facing businesses; that is resilient in the face of
future global shocks; that prepares all citizens for the future world of work; that
addresses the in-built inequity and social injustice of our current economic model;
and that enhances the health and wellbeing of all our citizens.

The commission is putting people at the centre of its work by holding deliberative
democracy events and citizens juries to draw on the practical knowledge,
experience and wisdom of people in diverse places around the UK. The transition
will need to be handled differently in different places and we want to connect
local experience with the bigger national policymaking picture, as we seek to
understand how national ambitions and policies need to be shaped for distinct
communities. The commission also recognises that there are other important and
distinct communities including the young, the vulnerable and minority groups
which must also have an active role in shaping policy.

The commission has deliberately chosen to work with communities that will face
unique challenges as a result of the transition. We believe that combining the
insights from this work, together with the policymaking expertise of IPPR, will
provide a unique contribution to the public policy debate, in turn supporting a
more rapid and fair transition across the UK.

In addition to working with local communities, the commission is also engaging
with politicians and policymakers of all political parties, experts and academics,
civil society, workers and trade unions, businesses and business groups, local
government and communities, and climate activists. Through a major programme
of communications, events and stakeholder engagement the commission aims to
contribute to both public debate and public policy on the economy, society, and
the environment.


The vision, ideas, and policies that the commission puts forward:

  • will be big and bold: the commission will set out the bold policy action needed for the UK to tackle the climate and nature crises, transform its economy, and realise the substantial opportunities to address underlying economic and social inequalities
  • will ensure the transition is owned and driven by communities: people must be at the heart of the economic transformation, which must be shaped by those most affected capture the real opportunities for a better life for everyone: bold action can provide enormous benefits for communities, through the creation of green jobs, improved health, quality of life and wellbeing, and ensuring a just transition in the UK. The transition must prioritise the public’s wellbeing and security, and new opportunities for those who risk losing out
  • enable the UK to show leadership on the climate and nature crises, and a just transition: at the next Conference of the Parties (COP26) on climate to be hosted in the UK and the biodiversity COP in China, the UK can inspire other countries by designing a modern, green and fair economic model
  • help build public support for reform: the transformation to a fair and green economic model that is fit for the future will need to command widespread public support. This will require new channels for accountability and public mobilisation.


Our final report will offer:

  • a realistic and optimistic vision and set of policies for a fair and green economy that is fit for the future
  • a list of immediate actions that the government must take to set us on the right pathway with policies that must stop or must be accelerated, and new actions that must be taken
  • a timetable and roadmap of what must be put in place to meet the challenges of the climate and nature emergency

The commission’s final report will be published in early 2021.