SIPTU representatives at Bord Na Mona have said they had a positive and constructive meeting with the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, who confirmed his support for the future of employment at the company and its plans to reduce its reliance on peat production. At the meeting on Thursday, 27th October, the Minister confirmed that his department, with the Department of Agriculture, is working on developing a financial package to encourage farmers to grow willow and eucalyptus that can increase the supply of biomass for power stations currently dependant on peat production. SIPTU Organiser John Regan said: “The Minister believes that this initiative can open up opportunities for additional jobs in the development of a biomass industry and demonstrates the government’s support for the long term plan of BNM to reduce its reliance on peat production for power stations, including the Edenderry station in county Offaly. “What is now required is for An Bord Pleanála to make its decision on the planning application which was first submitted a year ago by BNM and which can put this plan into effect.” The SIPTU representatives presented the Minister with a copy of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) report on climate change, "Just Transition Fund", which identifies the challenge for job creation from the planned reduction of damaging carbon emissions in different industries and which will affect an estimated 24 million works across Europe over the coming years.