The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has welcomed the European Commission’s adoption of Ireland’s Territorial Just Transition Plan and associated Programme for 2021–2027. This follows government approval on 29 November 2022.
Minister Ryan said:
“Ireland’s Climate Action Plan provides a framework for a just transition away from dependence on fossil fuels. This just transition approach will allow Ireland to green its economy in a way that is as fair and as inclusive as possible, leaving no one behind. I am delighted to confirm that we have now secured final agreement on Ireland’s overall programme of investments under the EU Just Transition Fund of up to €169 million, which can now get underway, benefiting Midland’s peatlands communities for the period out to 2027.”
The EU Just Transition Fund (EUJTF) is targeted at the Midlands area. The designated territory for this fund includes the counties of Laois, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath, and the municipal districts of Ballinasloe (Co. Galway), Athy and Clane-Maynooth (Co. Kildare), and Carrick-on-Suir and Thurles (Co. Tipperary). The aim of the fund is to address the long-term economic transition of the region following the end of commercial peat extraction and peat-fired power generation.
Ireland’s Territorial Just Transition Plan sets out the impacts on the territory most negatively affected by the move away from fossil fuels and identifies the development needs and priorities for the territory – to address these negative impacts. A public consultation on the draft Territorial Just Transition Plan took place earlier this year, to provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to contribute to the plan.
The EUJTF Programme sets out the investment priorities for the €169 million to address the negative impacts of the transition to climate neutrality in the designated area. The fund will be managed by the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA).
The programme will be targeted at impacted peat communities in the Midlands, focused on three priorities, including:
- generating employment by investing in the diversification of the local economy
- supporting the restoration and rehabilitation of degraded peatlands and the regeneration and repurposing of industrial heritage assets
- providing former peat communities with smart and sustainable mobility options to enable them to benefit directly from the green transition
Minister Ryan continued:
“The government remains committed to a just transition in the Midlands region and has already dedicated significant funding to supporting workers, companies and communities affected by the closure of the peat-fired power stations and the end of peat harvesting by Bord na Móna. A total of €29 million of funding will be available in 2023 under the national and EU Just Transition Funds (EUJTF). I look forward to the formal launch and implementation of the EUJTF programme by the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, in conjunction with government partners over the coming months.”
Learn more about the EU Just Transition Fund.
The EU Just Transition Fund (EUJTF) is part of EU Cohesion policy, which is the European Union’s strategy to promote and support the ‘overall harmonious development’ of its Member States and regions by strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion through measures aimed at reducing disparities in the level of development between regions.
The EUJTF is subject to the Common Provisions Regulation (Regulation 2021/1060 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 June 2021) and the JTF Regulation (Regulation 2021/1056 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 June 2021).
The EUJTF is part of the partnership agreement which was launched by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Commissioner for Regional Affairs on 16 September 2022.
The purpose of the EUJTF is to address the adverse effects of the climate transition by supporting the most affected territories and workers, and to promote a balanced socio-economic transition. This supports those most impacted by the move away from fossil fuels, to leverage new economic opportunities presented by the move to an economic model based on net zero emissions.
A formal launch of the programme is being planned for 2023.