Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Questions (201)

Bríd Smith


201. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he or Bord na Móna plan to apply to the EU globalisation fund to aid in a just transition in Bord na Móna and elsewhere; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46849/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Ireland's European Globalisation Adjustment Fund Managing Authority is within the Department of Education and Skills. All applications for support from the Fund must be submitted by this Managing Authority. Neither my Department nor Bord na Móna can apply directly to the Globalisation Fund.

My Department has secured support for the Midlands Region from other EU sources. Following proactive engagement by my Department and Bord na Móna the Midlands Region has been included in the Platform for Coal and Other Carbon-Intensive Regions in Transition. Membership of this Platform enables the Midlands Region to avail of the support of a dedicated Country Team, comprised of Commission experts, to assist with the development of strategies and projects for the region. My Department is engaging with the Commission in relation to the establishment of the dedicated Country Team for Ireland and it is expected that the team will visit the Midlands before the end of the year.

The Midlands Regional Transition Team, led by Offaly County Council, has already been successful in securing support from the Secretariat of the Platform. The START team (Secretariat's Technical Assistance to Regions in Transition) will visit the region in early December.

My Department is also engaging with the European Commission on the potential for an introduction of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) to fund an accelerated rehabilitation of the Bord na Móna bogs above and beyond the current, legal requirement on Bord na Móna.