C: Christian Lue via Unsplash

Ireland has not yet submitted plan for funding to get €84.5m from EU Just Transition Fund

Independent TD Carol Nolan has said that it almost beggars belief to be told that Ireland has yet to complete the preparation of a territorial just transition plan and accompanying programme, as it is required to do before it can access up to €84.5 million from the EU Just Transition Fund.

The Laois Offaly Deputy was speaking after the Minister the Environment, Eamon Ryan, confirmed that work on the draft plan remains incomplete in his Department, despite informing her in July that the plan would be ready for public consultation this Autumn. 

“It is completely unacceptable that Government and in particular, Minister Ryan’s department have yet to formulate the draft plan,” she said. 

“We have to remember that I was told as far back as June 2020 by the former Minister for the Environment, Richard Bruton, that ‘work was underway’ in developing the plan that would enable us to access €84 million from the EU Just Transition Fund.”

“Since then, and this was also confirmed to me in July by Minister Eamon Ryan, his Department has been supported to develop the Territorial Plan through technical assistance under the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme.”

The Independent TD said that consultants were also selected by the Commission to assist in developing an evidence base to inform the selection of investment priorities for inclusion in the Territorial Plan and they had extensive engagements with national and regional stakeholders to inform their work, including the Just Transition Commissioner, the Midlands Regional Transition Team, Local Authorities, Regional Assemblies, ICTU, BnM, ESB, relevant Government Departments, NESC, IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Solas and the Education and Training Boards. 

“Despite all of this engagement, we are now told by Minister Ryan that he only intends to launch a public consultation “before the end of the year to inform the further development and finalisation of the plan during the course of 2022,” she said. 

“At this rate our communities in Offaly, Laois, and beyond who desperately need funding, might as well be Waiting for Godot,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

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