Professor Raphael Heffron awarded Jean Monnet Chair (Professorship) on the Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy

Professor Raphael Heffron was this month awarded a Jean Monnet Chair (Professorship) for 2019-2022 on the Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy by the European Commission.

To receive this award is a career highlight for an academic and it recognizes excellence in both teaching and research. These awards are given internationally, and this year there were just 4 awards in the UK, with only 2 focused on law and Professor Heffron’s award the only one in Scotland.

Professor Heffron’s award is timely and highlights the importance of his own research area in the Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy.

“Jean Monnet Chairs are world-renowned and prestigious so I am very excited to receive this award,” he said. “This is a huge personal honour and will allow me to continue my research and teaching in this area.

“Achieving a just transition to a low-carbon economy is a huge task with an estimated cost of £70-80 billion but it is something we cannot duck if we are to prevent environmental catastrophe while ensuring people in the developed and developing world can sustain themselves.

“To do so we cannot see the energy sector as the only problem but to think about the links between industries, energy, health and the labour force. We need a transition that delivers for all and to do that we need to move beyond traditional thinking on these subjects. For instance, we now know that there is a link between income inequality and high levels of co2 emissions, and so a focus on economic growth alone is not just environmentally destructive but also socially divisive.”

Professor Heffron will teach a module on this topic in the forthcoming academic year and will continue to work internationally on this with international partners as part of the Just Transition Initiative.