Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Rural and Community Development

Climate Change Policy

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois, Sinn Fein)
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27. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development if he has been briefed on the recommendations in the cross-party report on climate change specifically relating to a just transition; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43657/19]

Photo of Michael RingMichael Ring (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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The cross-party report on climate action was published by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action in March 2019.

My Department actively engaged with the work of the committee and also in the preparation of the all-of-Government action plan published by my colleague Minister Bruton and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment in June. I have been briefed on a number of occasions on the recommendations.

I am particularly concerned with ensuring that transition to a low-carbon future is done in a just and fair manner, recognising the potential for measures to be felt differently in different parts of the country.

The Government has consistently stressed the importance of ensuring a people-centred transition which recognises vulnerability within certain communities and takes action accordingly.

The creation of a Just Transition Task Force, as suggested by the Committee, is very welcome. My Department is represented on the Task Force and intends to be a strong advocate for community outreach and involvement in the transition measures.

The report highlighted the potential of local community structures such as Local Community Development Committees and Public Participation Networks to play a role at local level in engaging with communities. My Department will continue to work with these structures and has committed to measures in the Climate Action Plan to help increase their awareness and capacity to address climate change issues within their communities.

My Department is also providing supports to assist communities and those in rural Ireland with climate change initiatives to enhance their resilience, and will continue to do so. In developing the next phase of rural development policy climate adaptation, sustainability and resilience are likely to be guiding features.


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