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Lynn Boylan MEP welcomes step forward for Green Employment

8 July, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has welcomed the adoption of a resolution in the European Parliament on the ‘Green Employment Initiative’.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Boylan, who is a member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, said:

“Today’s vote will help us realise the job-creation potential of the green economy in the future across Europe, including in Ireland, while ensuring the transition does not leave working people and their communities behind.

“The resolution stresses the importance of ensuring the economic transformation we need to achieve is a ‘just transition’.

“A just transition means ensuring targeted skills training and assistance is provided for workers and students – including workers dislocated from declining polluting industries – in emerging green technologies and energy efficiency.

The new jobs created in the green economy should be decent, secure and well-paid.

“I’m disappointed that some parliamentary groups have banded together to weaken important elements of the resolution, such as the commitment to creating quality, secure jobs.

“Despite this, the resolution is still a progressive and valuable step forward.

“When it comes to an economic transformation of the scale we are discussing, we need workers and their unions to be deeply involved in the transition.

“Research from the British TUC has demonstrated that trade union ‘green representatives’ have played a critical role in achieving change at the workplace level.

“Workers' input in the transition should extend from the workplace level right up to the state level. This will help minimise dislocation and maximise the success of the economic transformation we need.

“Public procurement can also play an important role in the transition by including pro-active environmental and social criteria.”

 Ms Boylan continued:

“Any shift in taxation from labour to the environment should target the major polluters, and aim at changing polluting behaviour. It must not be regressive taxation of consumers, which will hit the poorest hardest.

“I also welcome the call by the Parliament today for the European Commission to ensure that the 'just transition' agenda remains a strong part of its negotiating position at the COP21 Paris climate summit.”

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