The IPPR Environmental Justice Commission is calling for the government to introduce a variety of new measures to create a fair transition that puts people at the heart.
Among these measures – created following a series of citizens juries including people from different walks of life – is the recommendation to launch a £7.5 billion-a-year GreenGo scheme, which would be a financial one-stop shop to help households switch to green alternatives for heating, home insulation and transport.
The Commission is also recommending that the government steps up public investment in a low carbon economy, raising it by £30 billion a year throughout the UK until at least 2030.
All workers in high-carbon industries should also be offered the right to retrain for new low-carbon jobs, with the government also supporting businesses everywhere to make the transition.
Other measures include upgrading local public transport, establishing a permanent UK-wide climate and nature assembly and involving communities everywhere in decisions that will affect them, including granting English combined and local authorities new powers over economic strategy, transport and planning.
The citizen juries were held in four areas likely to be most impacted by the move to net zero, with these being Tees Valley and County Durham, the South Wales Valleys, Thurrock and Aberdeenshire.
The commission said that if the transition is not a fair one with people at its heart, there is a risk the public could wield an effective veto on delivering net zero.
Laura Sandys, co-chair of the Environmental Justice Commission, said: "This should be a positive moment for everybody - while making the far-reaching changes needed to combat the climate and nature crises, we can create good new jobs, build the businesses of the future and improve people’s health, their day-to-day surroundings and their wellbeing, everywhere.”
The IPPR Environmental Justice Commission is co-chaired by figures from the Conservative, Labour and Green parties, and joined by leading figures from business, trade unions and civil society.
In 2020 it issued a separate series of recommendations to the government, including that it should invest £30 billion in a green recovery from COVID-19, with this initially targeted at “shovel-ready” green projects to help generate jobs.