Speaking in response to the decision by Bord na Móna to end peat extraction, and to commence work on its Enhanced Peatland Rehabilitation Scheme (EPRS) on 65,000 hectares of their land, Co Offaly based Senator Pippa Hackett welcomed the announcement: “This is an historic moment in our country’s relationship with peat, and this announcement is a welcome start to this decade of change, as we shift away from peat as a source of carbon emissions, to peat as a carbon storage and sequestration.
“We especially welcome the commitment that all employees will be retained for the vital work of re-wetting and restoring our bogs. This is what we all mean when we refer to a Just Transition. However, we continue to urge Bord Na Móna to heed the concerns of their workers and union reps, and to keep them in the loop in any decisions and actions – there is still uncertainty there about the long-term future job prospects in this area, and ultimately this needs to be secured.
“I look forward to the transformation of thousands of hectares of bogs in the Midlands, and I look forward to our shared future as we transition to a clean, low carbon way of life, and finally begin to deal, effectively and earnestly, with the climate and biodiversity crisis. The new economic opportunities offered by the re-wetting and restoration of our bogs must be realised – from job retention, further job opportunities, and quality of life improvements. The potential to use re-wetted bogs as an important amenity for local communities and tourists, as well as providing vital ecological services of water management and habitat creation, cannot be overlooked.
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