Just Transition Fund should be wide ranging for region argues Professor
Dr Schuitema says that locals must see that their visions for their communities are understood by decision makers.
Job creation and economic growth should not be the sole focus of the EU Just Transition Fund in the Shannonside Region.
That’s according to Associate Professor at UCD, Geertje Schuitema who argues that the feelings and choices of the communities affected by the transition from fossil burning industries to renewable energy must be prioritised.
In a new research paper co-authored by the NexSys programme researcher, it’s argued that the trust has been broken between communities, such as Lanesboro, and the Government.
In compiling the research along with her colleague Doctor Aparajita Banerjee, the environmental psychologist found many people affected by the closure of Lough Ree power station feel their views and livelihoods are not understood by an urban based government.
Speaking to Let’s Talk today, Dr Schuitema says that locals must see that their visions for their communities are understood by decision makers:
“When you think about a just transition, don’t be too narrowly focused. Don’t just focus on jobs, don’t just focus on economic benefits for the region in the short-term. It is very much about how communities feel. It’s about their vision for the future as well. It’s about making rural areas resilient for change. To invest in rural areas is essential to make a just transition really just”.
This article originally appeared on Shannonside.ie