Join Now

Climate Action Bill pays lip service to the concept of ‘just transition’ 

Climate action cannot come at the expense of those workers and communities who can least afford it, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.

Deputy Whitmore, a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, said:

“The Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action is currently examining more than 200 amendments, which have been proposed for inclusion in the Climate Action Bill. Among the most important of these are the amendments which seek to strengthen the definition of ‘just transition’ in the Bill. Regrettably, Environment Minister Eamon Ryan has indicated he will not accept any of these amendments.

‘This ‘government knows best’ approach is anathema to the formation of robust legislation. The Minister has claimed the Climate Action Bill will be “transformative”. It will be transformative in a negative sense unless a detailed definition of ‘just transition’ forms a central component of the legislation.

‘As it stands, the Bill merely pays lip service to the concept of ‘just transition’ in entirely vague terms. If we want to take people with us, on our journey to a zero carbon economy, we must ensure safeguards are in place to protect the most vulnerable. Just transition, at its core, means protecting workers whose industries will bear the brunt of this transition and ensuring marginalised households do not bear a disproportionate cost from these necessary changes.

“A precise definition of what ‘just transition’ means is therefore a crucial element of the Bill – an element that is currently missing. This is a golden opportunity to incorporate it fully into the Bill and ensure we meet our targets in a fair manner.

“The Minister has a chance to act now before it’s too late. He must reconsider his opposition to strengthening the Bill with a comprehensive definition of what a ‘just transition’ entails.

“If not, he must explain why he wants to make the most vulnerable pay the biggest price of this transition.”

8 June, 2021


Back to all Posts