Progress towards a Just Transition on the Island of Ireland

John Barry, Sinéad Mercier

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Progress towards a Just Transition on the island of Ireland from fossil fuels in particular and unsustainable (and neoliberal) models of economic development in general, is a mixed picture. It is full of deep and as yet unresolved contradictions, but also great potential. On the one hand, the island of Ireland has some of the best renewable energy resources on the planet, particular in offshore wind. As the International Energy Agency puts it “Ireland’s location at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean ensures one of the best wind and ocean resources in Europe”. Ireland’s solar climate is as good as Paris, and equivalent to 70% of the solar climate on the Mediterranean coast. This means that a transition to a 100% renewable energy system is entirely feasible. Yet, there is sluggish movement on decarbonization and greenhouse gas emissions reduction across the island, and at best only a rudimentary understanding of what a ‘just energy transition’ means from a trade union’s perspective. And then there is Brexit and the problematic post — conflict politics of Northern Ireland to contend with….
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationJust Transition Research Collective
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2018


  • Just Transition
  • trades unions
  • sustainability
  • Energy Transitions
  • Renewable energy
  • decarbonisation
  • climate breakdown


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