Bord na Móna intends to accelerate the move away from traditional peat businesses into renewables, resource recovery and new business opportunities to support sustainable employment and associated economic development in the Midlands. I have written to Commissioner Canete in the European Commission, who has responsibility for Energy and Climate Action, requesting the inclusion of the Midlands Region on the “Platform for Coal and Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition”. The main objectives of this Platform are to enable multi-stakeholder dialogue on policy frameworks for successful transformation of carbon-intensive regions, and to facilitate the development of strategies and projects in areas such as investment for structural transformation, growth and jobs. Once the Midlands Region is included on the Platform for Coal and Carbon Intensive Regions in Transition, it is expected that a team of European Commission and external experts would be assigned to assist the relevant State bodies with refining project ideas and implementation strategies, including feedback on relevant EU policies, programmes, funds and financing instruments. I expect the response from Commissioner Canete will be positive.
The All of Government Climate Plan will recognise, and seek to take advantage of, the economic opportunities that the low carbon transition presents for Ireland. The Plan will seek to build on and complement the approach of the Future Jobs Ireland strategy. This strategy sets out a series of complementary actions, including commissioning the National Economic and Social Council to develop policy recommendations for consideration by Government for the operation of Transition Teams to manage the impact of the economic transition on vulnerable workers and sectors.