A new report by Trademark Belfast has detailed how the Irish Government could act now to pave the way for a green recovery and just transition.

The report, Financing a Just Transition in Ireland, sketches out a potential framework for an ambitious state-led green investment strategy, along with proposals to place private finance at the service of a climate transition.

Trademark’s Seán Byers, author of the report, said:

“Even amid the wreckage of COVID, the Government’s favoured strategy envisages a return to yesterday’s unequal and unsustainable economy, with added bicycle lanes and walkways. This would lead to rebounding carbon emissions, coupled with even higher levels inequality across the state. Our report shows that a different path is not only necessary but feasible.”

“At the same time, there is an urgent need to transform Ireland’s financial sector away from supporting profit-seeking behaviours that encourage social and environmental destruction. This report outlines why and how private lending and investment needs to be directed towards productive, green and job-rich economic activity.”

Key recommendations in the report include:

  1. Proposals for direct state investment supported by a repurposing of the Irish Strategic Investment Fund and the establishment of a state investment bank as part of a new public banking ecosystem;
  2. The case for a new and green municipalism, restoring local democracy and unlocking the potential of place-based finance;
  3. Mandatory climate-related financial disclosures and climate risk-related disclosures for the corporate and financial sector;
  4. The introduction of official national ‘brown-to-green’ taxonomy (i.e. classification system) that accurately identifies dirty activities and limits the scope for greenwashing;
  5. A full phase-out of fossil fuel lending, investment and underwriting activities by 2030; and
  6. The introduction of climate-related factors into Ireland’s large shadow banking market.

Professor John Barry, Queen’s University Belfast and Co-Chair of the Belfast Climate Commission, said of the report:

“This is an important contribution to the discussion of how to mobilise the resources and policy levers of the Irish state for a green and just transition. Policy-makers and climate justice campaigners across the island will find much in this report that will be of interest as we look to navigate our way out of the current crisis.”

Read the report here: Financing a Just Transition in Ireland