The Government has appointed Mr. Kieran Mulvey as the just transition commissioner on a non-statutory basis to facilitate discussions and work with stakeholders to develop, mobilise and deliver opportunities for the midlands. I published the terms of reference for the work of the just transition commissioner on 19 November. The commissioner will engage with the relevant stakeholders, including local community organisations; Bord na Móna; the ESB; the midlands transition team; local authorities and public representatives; and relevant trade unions and workers' representatives. The commissioner will also review experiences and best practices in other projects and areas, nationally and internationally, and will review relevant existing State plans and programmes. The commissioner will then recommend the essential elements of a just transition. The commissioner will report to Government through the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
I have asked the commissioner to specifically consider the following matters in developing his recommendations: delivery of the just transition measures provided for in budget 2020, in particular the just transition fund; optimal structures or processes to support co-ordinated and effective delivery of a just transition in the midlands, including developing liaison channels between institutions in the region and central Government; implementation of other actions under way, or planned, by Government Departments, agencies and companies, including the four competitive funds under Project Ireland 2040, which could contribute to the transition; and any additional actions or measures he considers appropriate for Government consideration. The commissioner has also been invited to take account of relevant existing plans and programmes, such as Bord na Móna's brown to green strategy, the regional enterprise development plan for the midlands, as well as the provisions made in budget 2020, which include the €20 million retrofitting initiative; the €5 million for peatland rehabilitation - outside of Bord na Móna bogs; and the €6 million for a dedicated just transition fund, where the ESB has contributed an additional €5 million. The commissioner will not have a direct role in industrial relations matters in Bord na Móna, which will continue to work with the joint industrial relations council established under the Workplace Relations Commission and with the Workplace Relations Commission itself as necessary.