Back in July, GEF alongside Green House Think Tank launched an essay competition for students and young writers on the political potential of the Just Transition in the UK. We’re now delighted to announce the winner of our Just Transition essay competition: Matthew Hull.
For as long as the vocabulary of just transition has existed, it has attended to regional inequality and ‘spatial justice’.6 This arises from the common-sense observation that regions whose economies are especially reliant on fossil-fuelled industries, and whose opportunities for economic diversification are limited, will be particularly vulnerable during any transition.
Matthew looks at two decades of regional development in the UK, from New Labour’s ‘new regionalism’ to Metro Mayors and devolution in Wales. Exploring how ‘actually existing regionalism’ has accommodated ecological objectives over time, and through narratives from networks to ‘Levelling Up’, Matthew contrasts a history of weakness with an emerging political potential. “The regionalist genie may be out of the bottle,” his excellent essay concludes, “and centralising governments may struggle to put it back in.”
This essay has been published by the Green European Foundation with the support of Green House think tank and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation. The European Parliament is not responsible for the content of this content.