Published: Tue, 22 October 2019
MEP for Ireland South and leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly, has called on EU leaders to approve Parliament’s call for the establishment of a €5 billion fund under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) aimed at aiding regions that are most impacted by policy actions to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg today (Tuesday), Mr. Kelly made the following comments.
“Climate change is very much a priority at EU level, evidenced by the ambition outlined by incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her recent speech to Parliament. I strongly welcome the emphasis on Climate and look forward to policy challenges ahead.
“One vitally important element of our policy action on Climate must be to ensure that no citizen or worker is left behind and that there is a Just Transition for all. While absolutely necessary, the switch away from conventional energy sources comes with costs, and this includes major changes to lives of those working in certain sectors.
“This is why we need a Just Transition Fund at EU level. At the end of the last Parliamentary term, a convincing majority of MEPs called for the establishment of a €5 billion just transition fund in the new MFF. It is now up to EU Prime Ministers at Council to approve this proposal and ensure the fund is up and running as soon as possible.
“€5 billion is the absolute minimum required for this hugely pressing issue – if anything this amount could be doubled or tripled to make sure our impacted regions are adequately supported during this transition.
“Examples of where this money is needed are there for all to see. At home we have the midlands where the transition away from peat is already bringing hardship on once-thriving communities. Across the EU we see the same – the steel workers in Germany, the coal miners in Poland, this is a pan-EU issue, and it is an issue that must be tackled collectively at EU level”, concluded MEP Kelly, member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.