Congress Calls for Immediate Establishment of Just Transition Forum on Move to Low Carbon Economy

26 Oct 2018

Unions battle Climate Change No Jobs on a Dead Planet

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called for the immediate establishment of a Just Transition Forum to help ensure that workers and communities across Ireland do not bear the brunt of the move to a low carbon economy.

Congress General Secretary Patricia King said any such forum must focus on developing alternative forms of employment and also ensure the necessary supports and resources are  put in place to assist workers and the wider communities.

“The Just Transition Forum must be established as a matter of urgency and include all stakeholders in the sector. The failure to do so to date has been thrown into sharp relief by the recent announcement from Bord Na Mona and we now need to see a clear commitment from government to act on this.

“Congress has raised this matter with government on many occasions and warned of the consequences of inaction, in terms of the potential devastation facing workers and communities across parts of rural Ireland,” she said. 

“Indeed, as recently as July we contacted the then Minister seeking a meeting on this issue in order to highlight the necessity to plan for a transition and how we might deal with likely job losses, all of which have been anticipated and well-flagged in advance.

“Unfortunately we received no response to that request.

“However, it is our understanding that government has yet to even finalise the terms of reference for a study to be carried out under the auspices of the National Mitigation Plan that was to specifically examine ‘the economic and employment implications of the transition’.”

“For our part, Congress is working with the Nevin Institute and all unions in the energy and natural resources sector to develop concrete propositions on how we can manage the transition to a low carbon economy in a fair, equitable and sustainable manner and to identify the supports that will be required to so.

“We will also seek to identify the opportunities that exist for new forms of energy generation and employment creation across the sector,” Ms King concluded.