Published: Tue, 24 November 2020
MEP for Ireland South and Fine Gael’s leader in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly has welcomed today’s announcement from the Cabinet of €108m in funding for the Bord na Móna bog rehabilitation plan and 47 more projects in the Midlands, totaling €27.8m, approved under the Just Transition Fund, calling it a “massive boost for the midlands.”
“This is excellent news for workers across the midlands whose livelihoods happen to depend on carbon-intensive work, with additional benefits to the surrounding communities”, he said.
“I have long worked on this issue at EU level with the InvestEU Programme, and I have previously brought senior European Commission officials to Tullamore to meet the Bord na Móna workers and emphasize the important role in mobilising investments into the impacted regions. These areas simply cannot be forgotten as our economy adapts”, he warned.
“The transition to an economy in line with Paris Commitments is non-negotiable, and these targets must be achieved. However, we need to ensure that targets are met in a way that secures livelihoods for ordinary people and protects the most vulnerable with the inevitable economic changes we face”
“Today’s announcement is not the final step – work must now begin to ensure that the Midlands will benefit from the new financial supports made available.
“Ensuring a Just Transition that is fair and inclusive and leaves no citizen behind must be central to all actions we take to tackle climate change. We cannot accept a situation in which climate policies lead to unemployment, increased poverty, and the decline of once thriving areas.
“This a very welcome step by the Government, but we must continue to future proof our economy and the communities we live in. I firmly believe that if there is no Just Transition, there may be no transition at all”, MEP Kelly concluded.