Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Defence, Climate Action, Environment & Communications, Jack Chambers TD has said that our understanding of the damage caused to our environment has never been greater.

Deputy Chambers said: “The need for a just transition is clearer than ever, and this must a central objective of the next government. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economic conditions in which this transition will take place. More than one million people are currently receiving some form of income support and some businesses. 

“The next few years will be difficult, but If the right measures are put in place during the recovery period, we could see the green economy grow, reduce our emissions and ensure a just transition on a scale not previously considered possible. The resources available have changed, but the crisis has also created opportunities which did not previously exist.

“The experience of home working on a massive scale will encourage far more businesses to allow more people to work from home. If this is expanded on correctly, we could take thousands of cars off the road, bring more people into their communities and bring with it a whole host of quality of life improvements.

“We have an opportunity to massively increase training to support the green economy. For example, one of the barriers to retrofitting is the number of trained individuals to carry this work out. If green jobs are prioritised during the recovery period, these important measures could be expedited. There are also opportunities to become a world leader in climate innovation as we have done in medical devices and software.

“There are likely to be massive changes to the way in which Europe plays a role in meeting our commitments. Accessing funding to rebuild the economy is likely to be contingent on prioritising transition.  As I look towards the years ahead, I see greater opportunities than ever before to meet our climate change obligations,” concluded Deputy Chambers.