Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action, Darren O’Rourke TD, has said the government’s retrofit plan has not been designed with a just transition in mind, and as a result, will not deliver a fair and equitable outcome.
Teachta O’Rourke’s comments came during a debate on a Just Transition in the Dáil this afternoon.
The Meath East TD said:
“A just transition is a critical component of climate action, but the government are failing to recognise this.
“During the debates on the Climate Act last year, the government rejected Sinn Féin’s amendments that would have defined a just transition and climate justice.
“As a result, the climate act and the policies flowing from it, are weaker, as they fail to meet the bar of equity and fairness. The retrofitting plan is a case in point.
“Under this plan, if you have money, you get more free money to get a warmer home sooner. You’re at the top of the list. For every euro in carbon tax you pay, you are getting a good return.
“If you qualify for a Free Energy Upgrade, 8,000 households are already on the waiting list ahead of you, and there is a huge delay of 27 months to get works done.
“And if you are a renter, or on a low income earning too much to qualify for the free scheme, but not enough to afford the works, like most people, then you are out of luck. You’ll get no return on your carbon tax.
“The National Retrofit Scheme is devoid of equity, is benefiting those with means over those in need, and was not designed with a just transition in mind.
“There is a better, fairer way.
“The government could have started with the national social housing stock. They could have identified those living in fuel poverty or those reliant on solid fuels to heat their homes and started there. Or they could have put an income cap in place, to ensure more money could be targeted at those who need it most.
“They did none of this. There are options in this area, but the government are choosing not to take them.
“A just transition should be at the heart of all government policies, but this is not currently the case.”