65 climate groups call for just transition

Press Release 27 Jun 2024 admin

Over 60 leading climate organisations including Greenpeace UK, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Oxfam UK and Extinction Rebellion have signed an open letter calling for a ‘clear and funded’ transition plan for workers and communities reliant on the oil and gas industry.

The letter, which was sent to all party leaders today, is based on a report created in consultation with workers in the offshore oil and gas industry and backed by leading trade unions including Unite the Union Scotland, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), and Unison Scotland.

Signatories are calling for: 

The letter also calls for a phase out of oil and gas in the North Sea as a ‘crucial step’ to meet the UK’s ‘legally binding climate commitments, address the UK’s historic role as a disproportionate producer of emissions, and prevent further devastating loss and damage’ which disproportionately affects the world’s poorest.

Mel Evans, Greenpeace UK climate team leader, said:

“There is no such thing as climate justice without worker justice. The transition to end our dependence on fossil fuels and get us onto clean energy must bring communities and workers along with it, and that means providing adequate support on skills and retraining. 

“We urgently need the next government to bring forward a bold green industrial strategy and transition plan to support workers into low carbon jobs. This would deliver true climate justice and bring huge benefits for the economy, business, and the cost of living too.”

Mick Lynch, General Secretary of RMT Union, said:

“We firmly believe that a Just Transition in the offshore energy sector is not just a necessity but a moral imperative to secure all our futures. As we move towards greener energy, it is crucial that the valuable skills and expertise of our members working in the oil and gas sector supply chain are not lost. As part of any Just Transition, new training opportunities need to be provided so workers are not paying the price for building an environmentally sustainable future. 

“We will be working with pro-worker environmental groups and governments to guarantee fair treatment, job security, and new opportunities for oil and gas workers, so they can continue contributing to this vital sector.”

A spokesperson for Unite the Union said: 

“Unite welcomes support from the climate movement. We are fully behind a transition to greener energy, but this must be a fair transition, one that has workers and communities at its heart. We will continue to take any action necessary to protect our members’ jobs, pay and conditions. And we will continue to work with climate groups who are calling for ambitious government action on a just transition.”

TUC analysis shows that action to meet the UK’s climate commitments has the potential to create over a million good new jobs, while Robert Gordon University says over 90% of the UK’s oil and gas workforce have skills that are transferable to clean energy production.

The letter warns that “the longer we wait to implement a worker-led just transition in the North Sea – and other high carbon industries – the worse off communities that rely on these industries will be” and points to job losses already forecast at the Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland and Port Talbot Steelworks in Wales.

The number of jobs supported by the oil and gas industry has halved in the past decade, with some 227,000 jobs lost since 2013, despite the UK government issuing roughly 400 new drilling licences over the same period and energy companies recording record breaking profits. Analyses by the industry regulator, the Climate Change Committee, and others, project further job losses with business as usual.

Last week, a landmark ruling by the UK Supreme Court recognised for the first time that authorities must consider emissions released when oil produced is burned when approving new oil and gas projects. The ruling has major implications for the future of the UK’s oil and gas industry.

For press enquiries contact: 

Joe Evans, Press & Comms Officer at Greenpeace UK.

For further info, read:


Oxfam GB

Greenpeace UK

Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland

Extinction Rebellion UK

Green New Deal Rising

Friends of the Earth Scotland



Global Witness

Campaign against Climate Change

Global Justice Now

Oil Change International

Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

Oceana UK

Tipping Point UK

Climate Justice Coalition

Common Wealth


Tax Justice UK

Faith for the Climate

Parents for Future UK

Parents For Future Scotland


Protect Our Winters UK

This Is Rigged

Coal Action Network

New Economics Foundation

Climate Emergency UK

The Working Class Climate Alliance

Greener Jobs Alliance

Transnational Institute

Zero Hour

Mothers Rise Up


Hackney XR Elders and Grandparents

XR grandparents and Elders

Extinction Rebellion Brighton

Extinction Rebellion Stroud

Fossil Free Parliament

Fossil Free Shropshire

Derbyshire Pensioners Action Group

Stop Rosebank North West

Stop Rosebank North East

GNDR Newcastle

CGIAR Climate Impact Platform

Save Rimrose Valley Park

Edinburgh Climate Coalition

Fossil Free West Yorkshire

North Herts and Stevenage Friends of the Earth

New Forest Friends of the Earth

Global Justice Bradford

Dales Climate Hub

Derbyshire Climate Coalition

Dorset Equality Group

Scottish Cuba Solidarity Campaign

North East Climate Justice Coalition

Climate Action Leicester and Leicestershire

Divest Tyne and Wear

Divest Lothian


Aberdeen Climate Action

Feminist Exchange Network

Time for Change Argyll & Bute

Focus Areas