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.
A key objective of the new Commissioner will be to collaborate with, and build on the work undertaken by, the existing local taskforces to ensure that locally generated ideas and projects are brought forward for consideration for funding from the Just Transition Fund.
In this respect, I have invited the Commissioner to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including local community organisations, Bord na Móna, ESB, the Midlands Transition Team, local authorities and public representatives, and relevant trade unions and workers representatives.
The Commissioner will report to Government through me and I have asked him to consider specifically the following matters in relation to recommendations to be made:
- Delivery of the Just Transition measures provided for in Budget 2020, in particular an operating model for the new 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 underway, or planned, by Government Departments, Agencies, and Companies, including the four competitive funds under Project Ireland 2040
- Any additional actions or measures that 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 Mona's Brown to Green Strategy, the Regional Enterprise Development Plan for the Midlands, as well as provisions made in Budget 2020 to support a Just Transition in the region, comprising:
- €20 million for a new energy efficiency retrofitting scheme with retrofitting the social housing stock in the region at its core, while enabling private homeowners to opt-in to the scheme
- €5 million for peatland rehabilitation
- €11 million Just Transition Fund, with the Government contributing €6 million and the ESB contributing an additional €5 million
The Commissioner will not have a direct role in relation to industrial relations matters in Bord na Móna who will continue to work with the Joint Industrial Relations Council established under the Workplace Relations Commission, and with the Workplace Relations Commission as necessary.