Trade Unions and Climate Campaigners Call for Immediate Establishment of National Just Transition Taskforce

Joint Statement from Just Transition Alliance comes as Dáil debates Just Transition Bill and Taoiseach prepares to go to UN Climate Summit

An alliance of trade unions, environmental groups and civil society organizations has today (Sept 19) called for the immediate establishment of a National Just Transition Taskforce to help secure the livelihoods of workers and the future of their communities, in the shift to a low carbon economy.

The Just Transition Alliance (JTA) is comprised of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Friends of the Earth, Siptu, Forsa and the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.

The Alliance is calling for government to implement the recommendation of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action for the creation of a National Just Transition Taskforce to oversee and manage Ireland’s move to a low carbon economy.

The Alliance says that an immediate focus for the Taskforce must be the Bord na Mona and the peat workers and the communities of the Midlands.

Speaking on behalf of the Alliance Oisín Coghlan from Friends of the Earth said:

“The government speaks of Just Transition but has done very little to date to make it a reality. Social dialogue between workers and their unions, employers, government and communities is central to any Just Transition.

“If people are to have any confidence in plans for a transition people need to see a deal being negotiated to address issues such as the provision of decent quality replacement jobs, reskilling and investment in communities.”

Speaking on behalf of the Alliance Yvonne O’Callaghan of Siptu said:

“The case of Bord na Mona and the future of the communities in the Midlands provides is a litmus test of the overall move to a low carbon economy. If we get this right, it will provide a template for the wider economy.

“Experience from other countries shows that, a well-planned and managed Just Transition provides major opportunities for job creation in both the energy generation and conservation sectors, helping to boost regional and national growth.

 “To that end, we need to see the immediate creation of National Just Transition Taskforce, as recommended by the Oireachtas Committee and the inclusion of all stakeholders in the process”.

The Joint Declaration of the Just Transition Alliance is published today in advance of the Dáil debate this evening on the Just Transition Bill and as the Taoiseach prepares to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York next Monday. The Alliance is inviting other civil society organisations to join and endorse the statement.

The Just Transition Alliance Joint Declaration is available to read here:

Oisin Coghlan can be contacted at 086 852 9528; Yvonne O’Callaghan can be contacted at 087 738 1762