First Year in Office has set Midlands on a Clean, Green Course
First Year in Office has set Midlands on a Clean, Green Course, says Minister Pippa Hackett
'The future of the Midlands is clean, green, digital, and innovative', said Minister Pippa Hackett over the weekend, as the Green Party marked the first anniversary of government.
“The towns and villages of the Midlands are adapting to a cleaner, more sustainable way of living which will benefit everyone.”
Pointing out the level of funding which has gone into making homes energy-efficient she said:
“Across the country, social homes are being retrofitted with funds from the Carbon Tax, but eight midland counties – including Laois and Offaly – were given additional funding in recognition of the sacrifices this region will make in adapting.
“Laois-Offaly ETB has become one of four Centres of Excellence for retrofitting training, ensuring that our young people have the skills to avail of job opportunities in this area.
“And Portlaoise is being funded to become Ireland’s first low-carbon town with the National Climate Action Plan identifying the town as a demonstration project for decarbonisation’.
Minister Hackett highlighted some of the other towns which she said had benefitted from the Brown-to-Green agenda:
“Edenderry is carrying out a carbon-challenge feasibility study; Rhode has a green energy park; Ferbane has a food campus and innovation centre; and hydroponic farming is happening in the peatlands of Offaly – all with financial assistance from the Just Transition Fund.’
She also referred to the transition underway at Bord na Mona.
“I know of course that many jobs, and indeed ways of life, have come to an end there but at the same time 245 jobs have been created. I understand the company expects their workforce to be in excess of 2,000 within 10 years as it moves into renewable energy, recycling and other business opportunities. That must surely be a cause for optimism.’
Minister Hackett went on to welcome Green Ministers’ achievements which she said were not confined to the Midlands:
“Roderic O’Gorman has delivered additional parental leave, birth tracing legislation and LGTB supports while he is also planning the dismantling of the direct provision system; Catherine Martin has been striving to support those in the hospitality and entertainment sectors who lost their income overnight, and thanks to Eamon Ryan, children all over the country are cycling safely to school while the rest of us are getting out the bicycles to tackle the Greenways.
“All in all,” she concluded, “I think it’s fair to say that the Greens have made their mark and the country is a better place thanks to the agreement we entered into this time last year.”