The Green Party is to renew efforts to stem the effects of job losses in fossil-fuel industries by re-introducing its Just Transition Bill when the Dáil resumes next week.
The Bill, which the party launched last November, proposes that funding currently used to sustain peat-fired power plants be diverted and spent on retooling existing plant infrastructure and retraining workers.
A debate on the second stage of the Just Transition (Worker and Community Environmental Rights) Bill 2018 is expected to begin on Thursday next.
The Greens' Bill calls for the establishment of a National Just Transition Commission on a legislative basis to help facilitate the transition process.
Commenting on the upcoming debate, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan, said: “If we don’t act to create strong policies for a just transition for workers in fossil-fuel industries, the change to a green, low-carbon economy will risk creating economic and social injustices which we have seen in the mining communities in Wales and the North of England, or the ‘rust-belts’ of the US.
“The Government cannot ignore the need to go green, but they also can’t ignore the need to ensure that no worker is left behind in the new green economy.
“Our Bill will set up a Just Transition Commission which will bring together all relevant stakeholders, workers, employers, communities, along with environmental experts, to develop plans to ensure that the future green economy is a fairer, more just and more sustainable economy and community for all than we have now.”
Green Party representatives are currently meeting in Cork for their annual think-in ahead of the resumption of the Dáil. The meeting began at the Metropole Hotel in the city today and concludes tomorrow.