Written answers

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Climate Change Policy

Photo of Cathal CroweCathal Crowe (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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52. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the reason County Clare, which has a high dependency on the coal-burning ESB power station at Moneypoint has been excluded from Just Transition supports: if he plans to address the matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [59187/21]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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The 2021 Climate Action Plan sets out a just transition policy framework to ensure that we effectively monitor and manage our transition to climate neutral economy through structures and responses already in place and planned, that our responses remain flexible so that we can respond to future transition challenges, and that we target the areas in need of support. This policy framework is based on four principles:

1.An integrated, structured, and evidence-based approach to identify and plan our response to just transition requirements

2.People are equipped with the right skills to be able to participate in and benefit from the future net zero economy

3.The costs are shared so that the impact is equitable and existing inequalities are not exacerbated

4.Social dialogue to ensure impacted citizens and communities are empowered and are core to the transition process

Financial assistance to support a just transition has, to date, been made available by the Government to the Midlands region where the impact associated with the end of peat extraction for power generation has been both regionally concentrated and acute.

The Climate Action Plan has also committed to ambitious decarbonisation of Ireland’s electricity system over the coming decade, with a target to increase the share of electricity demand generated from renewable sources to up to 80% where achievable and cost effective, without compromising security of electricity supply.

Operational decisions pertaining to the power station are a matter for the ESB and I have no function in the matter. I note, however, that the ESB announced plans for future offshore wind energy development utilising the existing site facilities in April of this year, which are likely to mitigate any adverse impacts associated with the future ending of coal-fired power generation. Therefore, the balance of overall future impacts for the local area and for the wider region, and the case for any additional supports for the region, remains to be established at this juncture.


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