The National Development Plan (NDP), which was announced yesterday (Monday, October 4) has come in for sharp criticism from an independent TD, who claims that it “makes a mockery” of its own commitment to the ‘Just Transition’.

Laois-Offaly TD Carol Nolan said today that the €165 billion plan, as well as being “overly aspirational, vague and contradictory”, also “embeds a green approach into every major infrastructure project for the next decade”.

“The fact that the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, as well as the Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, are both describing this sprawling programme as ‘green through and through’ should send shivers down the spine of every pragmatic, employment-focused person in the state,” Nolan claimed.

“We have endless commitments to benchmark the delivery of almost every project against environmental assessment categories that we already know have caused chaos in sectors like forestry and horticulture.

“The impact on forestry is in turn generating crippling cost inflation in house construction,” the TD noted.

She added: “But instead of reassessing the value of such an approach, the government has decided to double-down and embed this utterly ruinous ‘green’ approach into every major infrastructure project for the next decade.”

According to Nolan, the government is “incapable of learning from this disastrous experience of the so called ‘Just Transition’ that has caused so much harm in Offaly, the midlands and beyond.”

She claimed that this “makes a mockery” of the NDP’s commitment to ensure that the Just Transition plan will lead to diversification of economic activity.

Nolan went on to note that the plan states that the government is preparing a ‘Territorial Just Transition Plan’ for approval by the European Commission.

However, Nolan claimed that Minister Ryan’s department has been preparing this plan since July 2020 and that “since then we have not had sight nor sound of what the plan will contain”.

“The only thing this NDP is guaranteed to bring about is a further and deepening sense of policy incoherence at the heart of government,” she added.