Just Transition report welcome, but implementation and funding is key - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment David Cullinane TD has welcomed the publication of the first report by the Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey today.
He has said, however, that he has concerns about the level of funding being provided to ensure that workers are protected and projects are implemented.
"This year has been a tough one for workers, families and communities in the Midlands, with 230 temporary job losses at Bord na Móna.
"I welcome the publication of today's report by the Just Transition Commissioner Kieran Mulvey in the hope that jobs can be saved and a suitable plan for the Midlands put in place.
"This is a lengthy report and deserves due consideration, and it is important for Minister Richard Bruton to appear before the Dáil specifically to deal with the contents of this report.
"Covid-19 restrictions will inevitably delay the rollout of many schemes. We need to ensure that any delay in finding alternative sources of employment for workers has to be met with a pause in redundancies and job losses. It is vital that the transition for any worker is not from a job to the dole queue.
"I also have concerns about the level of funding being provided to ensure that workers are protected and that projects under the Just Transition plan are implemented quickly and speedily.
"€31 million is a start, but it remains to be seen whether this is enough to ensure the plan is implemented. A commitment to a further €6 million from the ESB is welcome, and further promises and calls for additional investment need to be delivered upon.
"A Just Transition must be at the heart of our move to a more environmentally sustainable economy, but ensuring that workers and communities are at the heart of this must be central to moving forward.
"Sinn Féin will give the report full and fair consideration, but this will ultimately come down to delivery and will be judged by how many Bord na Móna and ESB jobs can be maintained in existing and new green enterprises."