Congratulations to Aidan While and his colleague Will Eadson on a new open access in the New Political Economy Journal. In “Zero carbon as economic restructuring: spatial divisions of labour and just transition“ the authors argue that strategies to reduce carbon emissions are set to be a powerful force of economic restructuring, creating new economic opportunities, and also disruption and divestment for some firms and sectors. A pressing issue for ‘just transitions’ is whether low carbon economic restructuring will challenge or reinforce prevailing geographies of spatial inequality and labour market (dis)advantage. In this article Aidan and Will return to the economic restructuring literature of the 1980s and 1990s to provide a theoretical framework for understanding ‘spatial divisions’ of low carbon work and how they might be shaped to ensure economically just transition. Their approach foregrounds questions of skills, training and pathways to employment across supply chains as key dimensions of just transition, providing a framework for analysis and intervention. The paper, therefore, brings new critical perspectives on low carbon transitions by conceptualising decarbonisation as a form of spatial economic restructuring and its potential implications in reinforcing and/or working against the existing patterns of uneven spatial development.

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