24th November 2020 | Press Releases, Regional Development

Over €100m in funding sets Midlands on road to Just Transition

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Green Party Ministers Eamon Ryan and Pippa Hackett have today welcomed the announcement of two major funding allocations for the Midlands.

Cabinet this morning approved funding of €108m for a large-scale peatlands restoration project from the Climate Action Fund which will help sequester millions of tonnes of carbon and protect and enhance the biodiversity of the region, while creating 350 green jobs for the Midlands and for former Bord na Mona workers.

The announcement comes as a further €27.8m is allocated today to 47 community-based projects across the midlands region under the Just Transition Fund.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, said: “The Green Party has long advocated for large-scale bog restoration because bogs have such enormous potential to capture and store millions of tonnes of carbon. They can help us meet our climate goals while at the same time protecting and enhancing biodiversity and restoring habitats, and in carrying out that important restoration work, we can also ensure a just transition for the workers who once harvested peat from those bogs for power generation.

“The provision of this funding to the bog rehabilitation scheme, along with the €27.8 million going to community projects across the midlands region, is a major step in the transition we need to make towards a carbon neutral future, and the employment opportunities these funding streams create will make this a just transition for those communities.”

Minister for Land Use and Biodiversity Pippa Hackett, an Offaly-based farmer, said: “The Midlands has suffered in the transition to the new Green economy but we promised we would support the workers and the communities through this. This is what we are delivering today.

The bogs are a magnificent resource for storing carbon, reducing emissions, and supporting biodiversity, and rehabilitating them is hugely important work. The Bord na Mona workers know these bogs better than anyone, and they are best positioned to deliver this vital work, which will help to sustain the local economy.

“The community projects funded by the Just Transition Fund will create a sense of engagement in the move toward the Green economy. Already we’re seeing a greater sense of the need for climate action at school and community level so it’s vital that these initiatives are supported. It’s a good day for action on climate and biodiversity action, and a good day for the Midlands.”