Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Rural and Community Development
17. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the key initiatives she is taking or has taken in the past 12 months to support just transition in rural and community developments (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27885/21]
The Programme for Government recognises that our commitment to decarbonise will be underpinned by the core philosophy of a Just Transition. Rural communities in particular are at risk of bearing a disproportionate cost of the adaptation measures that will be required to meet climate action targets. Therefore, active engagement with these communities is vital in order to fully participate in a Just Transition.
Our Rural Future 2021-2025, the new national rural development policy supports a Just Transition to a climate neutral economy. It contains a number of important measures for delivery across Government over the next five years, including climate investments, renewable energy, retrofitting and the rehabilitation of peatlands.
Additionally, I announced details of a €70 million Transitional LEADER Programme for the period 2021-2022, which came into effect last month.
The bottom up, locally led community approach that has always been central to LEADER, supports projects from local community groups and businesses which promote economic development, social inclusion and the protection of the rural environment. They reflect the key challenges facing rural Ireland and reducing the impact of global warming and resource depletion.
The Rural Environmental theme in the LEADER Programme seeks to maximise the potential of environmental actions to contribute to the sustainable development of rural communities. It focuses on utilising the landscape within a local area, its features and natural resources, creating greater environmental awareness and improving environmental protection.
In the last year, some 335 projects under the Rural Environment Theme worth over €11.57 million have been approved by LEADER Local Action Groups.