Green Party: Cork can be 'a genuine leader' in climate action

Green Party: Cork can be 'a genuine leader' in climate action

Pictured is Green Party Cork City Councillor Oliver Moran. The Green Party has said Cork can be "a genuine leader" in climate action after Cork City Council passed a motion committing to the objective of a "just transition" in the upcoming city development plan. Picture credit: Darragh Kane

The Green Party has said Cork can be "a genuine leader" in climate action after Cork City Council passed a motion committing to the objective of a "just transition" in the upcoming city development plan.

A just transition means support for those affected by changes in environmental policies designed to tackle climate change. 

The concept has been endorsed internationally in the Paris Agreement and by the European Union.

Yesterday evening, Cork City Council adopted a motion saying it believes a just transition is "an essential element of successful climate action." 

The Council agreed to include objectives relating to a just transition within the Cork City Development Plan 2022-2028.

The motion was co-signed by Green Party councillors and Independent councillor, Lorna Bogue. 

Independent councillor, Kieran McCarthy, worked to develop the motion after it was debated at the city's Climate Action Committee.

Speaking yesterday evening, Green Party councillor, Oliver Moran, who chairs the Climate Action Committee, said the commitment "reflects the ambition in Cork of not only meeting the challenge of climate change but to be a genuine leader on it". 

"That means leading in all of its aspects, including making sure the necessary transition will be a just one," he said.

Mr Moran said the decades ahead will be transformative for society and the economy but said there is a risk of "an 'unjust transition', meaning unemployment for workers in industries made redundant by the transition". 

"Peat workers in the midlands are the most well-known example in Ireland of those who will need new work, but they're not alone.

"Airport workers here in Cork are clearly at risk of an unjust transition too, if we don't plan the transition well," he said.

Mr Moran said the broader risk of an unjust transition is "the widening of already existing social inequalities". 

"There is good sense to carbon taxes but we cannot just price people out of high-carbon activities, like heating poorly-insulated homes. 

"The state has to provide for the transition through well-funded public schemes so that no-one falls through the cracks," he continued. 

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