atest press release from Deputy Jennifer Whitmore, issued on Thursday, September 16th 2021…
Social Democrats TD for Wicklow, Jennifer Whitmore has this week in the Dáil introduced her second piece of legislation since being elected – the Just Transition (Worker and Community Environmental Rights) Bill 2021.
The Bill will help create a fair deal for workers and their communities as we transition to a zero-carbon economy by establishing a Just Transition Commission.
“Climate action is one of the key priorities of the Social Democrats and our Just Transition Bill will ensure there is a fair deal for workers, farmers and communities as we make the transition to a zero-carbon economy” says Deputy Whitmore, SocDems Spokesperson for Climate Action.
“The Greens, and other parties in government, frequently use the term just transition but it has become nothing more than a buzz word or branding. They are not following their words with concrete action.
“This was originally a Green Party piece of legislation – Eamon Ryan introduced it to the Dáil in 2018. However, it has not been progressed while they have been in government.
“In fact, the notion of a just transition has been entirely absent from climate action legislation pursued by the Green Party in government. The words “just transition” were not even mentioned in the first draft of the Climate Action Act. The Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action fought to include it, but the government refused to define the term or include just transition principles in the legislation.
“What we mean by just transition is a fair deal for those who are impacted most by climate mitigation measures. We cannot have a situation whereby people are penalised, or left behind, as we try to do the right thing and take radical steps to achieve our climate action goals.
“Many workers, sectors and communities in Wicklow will be vulnerable to the transition if the government’s climate action plan does not protect them fully. Farmers, for example, will need a clear pathway outlining how they will be supported to incorporate and benefit from sustainable farming practices. The Just Transition Commission my Bill sets up will help farmers address any weakness in the government’s climate action plan.
“Anyone working in or selling fossil fuels, including many retailers, will also be affected during the transition to a zero-carbon economy when fossil fuels are removed from our local economies and more homes are retrofitted. They too will have access to the Just Transition Commissioner to make sure the government’s climate action plan facilitates them to adjust to these economic changes, and that they are not vulnerable as a result.
“The question for the Government now is – will they support farmers, retailers, workers and communities and deliver on what they promised, or oppose their own updated legislation?”
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