Minister's response to Bord na Mona transition strategy undermining midlands jobs - Nolan

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Minister's response to Bord na Mona transition strategy undermining midlands jobs - Nolan

Minister's response to Bord na Mona transition strategy undermining midlands jobs - Nolan

Independent TD for Offaly, Carol Nolan, has called on the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, to explain "why he delayed writing to the European Commission requesting the inclusion of the midlands region on the Coal Regions in Transition Platform."

Deputy Nolan was speaking after she expressed concern that efforts to develop an employment and retraining strategy to combat the impact of Bord na Mona job and productivity losses are not being sufficiently advanced

“Bord na Mona has made it very clear that its pursuit of a decarbonisation strategy is going ahead and that this will have a direct impact on jobs and industry in the midlands region, specifically in Co Offaly," she said.

"This has caused significant concern for those families and workers affected by the rolling closure of our bogs, which, as I understand it, is now up to 21 bogs despite an initial announcement that 17 would close."

"Yet despite these consequences being well known for a number of years, it has now emerged that the Minister has ‘only recently’ written to the European Commission Coal Transition Platform, which regardless of its name is mandated to deal with energy-intensive industries like Bord na Mona."

"The people of the Midlands need to know why it has taken this long considering the fact that the Commission launched the Platform in December 2017 in order to help areas like our own midlands region to modernise their economies in line with a clean energy transition that focuses on social fairness, new skills and financing for the real economy."

"If this government is serious about supporting reskilling and employment opportunities in Offaly, Laois and across the Midlands region then we need clarity on why this obvious area of support was not pursued sooner,” concluded Deputy Nolan.