Bord na Móna to cut 150 jobs as part of green business plan
Hundreds of job losses at Bord na Móna are expected in the coming months after officials meet today to approve a company restructuring plan.
Fianna Fáil TD Barry Cowen said he expects the company will announce around 150 redundancies at the semi-state peat board next year when its board of directors meet today to approve a new business plan.
The proposal is part of the company's move away from peat harvesting as it moves towards decarbonisation of the fuel sector over the next decade.
MEP for Ireland South Sean Kelly has called on the Government to ensure that money raised from the auctioning of carbon allowances under the EU's emissions trading scheme is allocated to supporting the workers and areas set to be impacted by the transition away from carbon intensive energy sources.
“Emissions from large power plants, such as the plants in Edenderry and Shannonbridge, are regulated by the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS), which provides that the required permits to burn fossil fuels in the EU are auctioned on the market.
"These permits are getting gradually more expensive, with the current price at around €20/t of carbon emitted, up from around €7 this time last year, with the price increase expected to continue. This will raise significant funds for Government in the years to 2030."
The use of the money in a 'Just Transition Fund', he said is option for Member States and he said that with up to 850 jobs to be lost in Offaly and Kildare, an adequate percentage of auction revenues should be ring-fenced for impacted areas.
“The ‘Just Transition Fund’ is intended to promote the re-skilling and up-skilling of workers, education and job seeking initiatives, to support laid off workers and impacted towns. This could be crucial for places like Edenderry and Shannonbridge as we move away from peat-powered stations over the next decade."
Mr Cowen it's crucial that the affected regions are given priority for replacement industries.
He has called for a sustainable transition forum to be established that would help cushion the blow for workers in counties Kildare and Offaly that are expected to bear the brunt of the job losses.