Just Transition is all about moving from a fossil-fuel economy to a sustainable, climate-friendly economy as quickly and as fairly as possible. We need to do this to halt the terrible damage being done to the planet and also to avoid the huge financial penalties that are coming down the tracks if Ireland fails to meet its carbon emission targets. However, we also need to think about the workers and communities that will be affected by this transition. In recent weeks we’ve seen job losses in vulnerable sectors such as peat production; this will continue to happen if the correct provisions are not put in place to help these workers transition to new positions within the green economy. Our Bill is about making sure no worker is left behind. The future of the labour movement is green.
By establishing a National Just Transition Commission we can bring together workers, communities, employers, experts, and government agencies to formulate and facilitate the plans, policies, and investments needed for a fair and just transition to a low-carbon economy. This approach has already been adopted in countries such as Scotland, where oil and gas extraction has been a significant source of employment since the 1970s. We are hopeful we will get cross-party support for this important Bill to help support workers and communities as we make this important transition.