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MEP Kelly welcomes new Just Transition Fund and it’s potential to support the Midlands

Published: Wed, 11 December 2019

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The Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Sean Kelly, has welcomed the presentation of a new €100 billion package to support the Just Transition to a low carbon economy as part of the EU’s ‘European Green Deal’ by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in the European Parliament today (Wednesday).

Speaking following the announcement, Mr. Kelly highlighted the importance of the inclusion of this new ‘Just Transition Mechanism’, something that has long been called for by the Ireland South MEP.

“Ensuring a Just Transition – a 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.

“Therefore, I strongly welcome the move by Ursula von der Leyen today to propose a new Just Transition Mechanism – which at €100 billion is far bigger than we had previously expected as part of the European Green Deal. This shows that this new Commission understands this vital need to adequately support those that are set to be most affected by the move away from carbon-intensive practices.

“Today’s announcement is not the final step – work must now begin to ensure that the Midlands will benefit from the new financial supports set to be made available; these areas must not be forgotten. I will seek to meet with new Commission Vice President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans early in the new year and work to make sure peat regions in transition are included.

“The creation of a Just Transition Framework was the central policy point of my campaign to be re-elected as MEP for Ireland South. I have long worked on this issue, and have previously brought senior European Commission officials to Tullamore to meet the Bord na Móna workers. Today’s announcement gives me an enormous sense of job satisfaction, but also a sense of relief that this issue is finally being taken seriously and that citizens are being put first”, concluded MEP Kelly.

Further detailed proposals on the mechanism are expected in early 2020.

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