Social Justice Ireland's Annual Policy Conference, beginning at 9.30am today, will address the topic 'A Just Transition".
The fundamental principle of a Just Transition is to leave no people, communities, economic sectors or regions behind as we transition to a low carbon future. Such a transition means changing how we travel, communicate, work, what we eat, wear and even the entertainment we consume. A Just Transition requires that we fairly share both the benefits and challenges of our new way of living. In order to transform how our society and economy operate, we must invest in effective and integrated social protection systems, education, training and lifelong learning, childcare, out of school care, health care, long term care and other quality services. Social investment must be a top priority if those people, communities, economic sectors and regions who are most affected are to be supported as we make the difficult transition to a carbon neutral economy.
Ireland and the wider world are moving steadily towards the 2030 deadline for the delivery of the Climate Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals. While seven years remain before reaching that deadline, there seems little awareness among many, including some policy-makers, that substantial changes will have to made at every level – individual, local, national and global – if the agreed targets are to be met. Even where this necessary awareness is apparent, there is no evidence that sufficient measures are being put in place to meet these goals. Ensuring that these changes are made, and that the impact of change is shared fairly by all, will require huge adjustments in all our lives. It is essential that a just transition process is put in place to enable people to reach this new way of living.