Why create a socially just Transition?
The Social Justice group began with some facts and figures: the IPCC expects 150 million climate change refugees by 2050; one sixth of the world’s population goes hungry each day; in the global North 50% of people are obese and one third of all food is wasted; in Britain 20% of the population is technically in poverty (meaning living below £112 per week per person).
The group considered various components of social justice. The following aspects were suggested:
- Equal opportunity and a more equal society
- Human rights and responsibilities
- Permeable borders
- Community ownership
- A broad power base
- Fair trade, for British as well as for overseas producers
- Valuing of diversity
In a mapping exercise almost the whole group agreed that it was not possible to do Transition without social justice. Three expert witnesses spoke about different communities. Catrina Pickering spoke about work with vulnerable communities in Glasgow and emphasised that if social justice is important it is important to fund work with poorer communities. Jo Homan(?) spoke about work in Finsbury Park which included work in local libraries and schools, a housing trust and a cycling project. She emphasised that it must be accepted that things are likely to take along time. Finally two witnesses, Jasmin Thomas from British Columbia and Suzanne Dhaliwala, spoke about tar sands in British Columbia. This sparked a vigorous discussion which covered the following issues:
- How does the TTM reflect bigger issues? Partly through networking with other groups
- The crucial role of solidarity in recognition of our shared humanity(think global act local)
- Make links between transition groups in more and less privileged areas, urban and rural
- The need to link up with other existing initiatives
- Inclusiveness as a key part of the transition ethos
Why be part of Transition? Because we want a fairer, more just and more equal future for those who come after.