The responsibility for energy policy matters falls within the remit of the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
However, there is an all-of-Government response and commitment to ensuring a sustainable future for those communities that are impacted by the closure of the two power stations in the midlands. The delivery of a package of investment and supports for the midlands will be overseen by the recently appointed just transition commissioner, Mr. Kieran Mulvey.
My Department was established in 2017 with a mission to promote rural and community development and support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities. I am therefore focused on ensuring that the transition to a low-carbon future happens in a just and fair manner. It is important to recognise the potential for climate action measures to be felt differently in different parts of the country, including in rural Ireland.
My Department is represented on the just transition task force being led by the National Economic and Social Council and we intend to be a strong voice for engagement with communities and their involvement in the transition measures.
My Department is finalising the next phase of rural policy for Ireland, which will reflect a whole-of-Government commitment to rural areas. Climate action, new ways of working and the changing nature of jobs are among the key challenges which the new rural policy will seek to put in place measures to address.
In addition, to support communities, including those in the midlands, there is a full range of funding and supports programmes being delivered by my Department.
Since 2017, Longford and Offaly, the counties in which the closures are taking place, have been allocated in excess of €34 million by my Department for projects that facilitate and encourage economic development and provide facilities that support the sustainability of our communities.
Last month's announcement of funding under the rural regeneration and development fund included €522,000 for a community and economic hub in Abbeyshrule, County Longford, and the same amount for a project aimed at regenerating the town of Edenderry in County Offaly.
My objective, and that of my Department, is to ensure that the funds available to me are targeted at those sectors and communities most in need and that will continue to be the case.