Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
58. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he plans to put in place a countrywide, sector-wide just transition commission on a statutory footing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49916/21]
I refer to the reply to Question No. 31 of 16 September 2021. The position remains unchanged.
The Government appointed Mr Kieran Mulvey as Just Transition Commissioner in November 2019 to facilitate discussions and engagement with stakeholders to develop, mobilise and deliver opportunities for the Midlands for both the workers directly affected and the wider community.
The Commissioner is undertaking his work with administrative support provided by my Department. The Commissioner is also being supported in his engagements with stakeholders in the Midlands, as required, by the Secretariat to the Midlands Regional Transition Team.
The Commissioner, through his three progress reports, has made a number of recommendations to help achieve a just transition in the Midlands. These recommendations have been taken forward through a number of strands, including the Just Transition Fund, the Bord na Móna Enhanced Peatlands Rehabilitation Scheme, and the re-configuration of the Midlands Regional Transition Team.
It has been agreed that the Just Transition Commissioner’s work will reach its natural conclusion at the end of 2021 with the submission of a fourth progress report. By this time the Government’s just transition response in the Midlands will have been well advanced with the finalisation of the Territorial Just Transition Plan, the publication of the Climate Action Plan 2021, and the Just Transition Fund projects under implementation.
Although the Commissioner’s mandate expires at the end of 2021, this would not prevent me or indeed any other Minister of the Government from taking a similar approach in future should the circumstances warrant it in a given sector or region.
The forthcoming Climate Action Plan 2021 will set out specific commitments on the just transition, including elaborating key principles, which the design and implementation of our climate action policies should follow. This approach will seek to fully integrate a just transition approach into the overall architecture of our climate policy provided by the new Climate Act, rather than establishing a stand-alone statutory commission.