The Irish Congress of Trade Unions described the publication today (Nov. 4) of the Climate Action Plan as a “positive initial step” but said the overall plan will ultimately be judged on its capacity to deliver a genuine Just Transition across all sectors of the economy and society.
Congress noted the commitment in the plan to establish a National Just Transition Commission and on the role of social dialogue and consultation in climate action policy and looks forward to more detailed proposals and engaging with government on these key issues.
Congress will study the Climate Action Plan, consult with affiliate unions and issue a more detailed response in the coming days.
Speaking in response to the publication of the plan, Jim Dullaghan, Chair of the Congress Energy Sector Group said: “Successive Irish governments have endorsed the principles and practice of Just Transition through a range of international treaties and accords, most notably the 2015 Paris Agreement and the 2018 Silesia Declaration.
“It is to be hoped that the new Climate Action Plan will now see policymakers adopt both the language and the substance of Just Transition, given the overwhelmingly negative experience of the process to date in the Midlands region.
“Congress has consistently called for the creation of a National Just Transition Commission (see below) based on social dialogue to ensure we can develop a coherent national strategy on this transformative process and ensure no worker or community is left behind,” Mr Dullaghan said.
Coordinator of the Congress Energy Group, Macdara Doyle said in response to the plan: “We must also ensure that new sectoral emission targets are matched by analysis of how these will impact jobs in each sector and the measures that will be needed to deal with this.
“The 2021 Climate Act requires that employment impact is be taken into account in this process and the Climate Change Advisory Council has also stressed the need for all such plans to adhere to the ‘principles of Just Transition'.”
“The transition process must deliver not only on climate policy objectives but also avail of the opportunity to enhance living standards, to create Decent Work, and build more sustainable communities.
“Congress does not accept that job losses and lower living standards are the inevitable or automatic outcome of the shift to low carbon, but result instead from bad planning and poor policy.”
View the Congress briefing on Just Transition here: