Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has said the Government’s decision to reduce funding to the Just Transition Fund for 2023 is “true to form for them” and reflects their disregard for Just Transition and Just Transition principles.
The Meath East TD was speaking following today’s meeting of the Oireachtas Select Committee on Climate Action, where the Revised Estimates for 2023 were discussed.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“The 2023 Revised Estimates for the Department of Environment, Climate Action and Communications accounts for a transfer €16.875m from the Department to other votes in relation to the Just Transition Fund.
“It further shows a decrease in funding for the Just Transition Fund (IE & EU) of €21.5m.
“When questioned on this at Committee today, the Minister pointed to the fact that grantees of existing funds were experiencing challenges in delivering projects related to unanticipated inflationary costs, particularly in relation to construction and procurement.
“He further pointed to a reduction in EU funding and a redistribution of this funding to 5 Departments (DECC, Ag, Housing, Transport & Tourism) in 2023 compared to one Department (DECC) in 2022.
“However, none of this hides or excuses the fact that the Government here have failed to maintain funding for the Just Transition Fund. A net overall reduction of in excess of €4m across Government is reported (€34m in 2022 to €29.28m in 2023).
“This is a deeply regrettable decision but true to form for this Government. It reflects their disregard for the need for a Just Transition and the importance of Just Transition principles.
“More importantly, it acts as yet another reminder of this Government’s failure to recognise the need to support those worst affected and most exposed in the transition to a net zero economy.”