Study will target how to deliver fair and just net zero transition

The University of Sussex will lead a three-year research project focused on exploring ways to ensure the UK’s transition to a low-carbon society “does not leave anyone behind”.

On 20 September, it launched FAIR – Fuel and Transport Poverty in the UK’s Energy Transition – which will examine the causes and links between both fuel and transport poverty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The £1.25mn study will then draw up policy recommendations which are designed to limit the impacts of the transition to a more sustainable future.

Specific measures over the next three years will include interviews with both rural and urban households to identify and examine the circumstances that leave some households vulnerable to fuel and transport fuel poverty; and modelling of future scenarios to estimate the impact of low-carbon energy and transport policies on things such as unemployment and household incomes. It will also explore policy proposals that make the transition fair and just for the most vulnerable groups.

Senior Research Fellow, Dr Mari Martiskainen, said: “This study is pressingly needed to ensure that as the UK undergoes a significant and very necessary decarbonisation effort of Net Zero by 2050, innovations such as vehicle electrification and ‘smart’ technologies do not create new injustices. Fuel and transport poverty have until now typically been treated as distinct problems in the UK with their own causes and consequences but we argue that they are in fact deeply interlinked and potentially mutually reinforcing.”

University of Sussex