Ireland recently took a big step towards cutting fossil fuels including coal, gas and oil out of the picture. The Parliament of Ireland has voted to be the world’s first country to fully divest public money from fossil fuels.
The Parliament passed a bill that prohibits the country from investing in fossil fuels, with the vote 90 to 53 in favour of dropping investments in coal, oil and gas from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund which is part of Republic’s National Treasury Management Agency.
The bill was introduced by Deputy Thomas Pringle and is likely to pass into law in the next few months after it is reviewed by the financial committee.
Mr Pringle exclaimed “This principle of ethical financing is a symbol to these global corporations that their continual manipulation of climate science, denial of the existence of climate change and their controversial lobbying practices of politicians around the world is no longer tolerated.”
“We cannot accept their actions while millions of poor people in underdeveloped nations bear the grunt of climate change forces as they experience famine, mass emigration and civil unrest as a result.”
This is a historic movement from Ireland and a huge contrast to the US, whose new leadership is trying to suppress and deny climate change science and in turn promote and protect the fossil fuel industry.
Mr Pringle’s statement expressed obvious opposition to Donald Trump and his views on climate change, and he wishes for others to stand their ground saying “National governments have an essential role to play in backing up their Paris pledges by ensuring public funds are well placed to support the clean energy transition, and protected from the inevitable decline of the fossil fuel industry.”
Sustainable investors have also added their support of the Parliaments decision, saying fossil fuel assets could become surplus to requirements and flop financially as clean energy gathers pace. They suggest that divesting from fossil fuels along with investing in clean climate solutions is a sensible way for investors to manage these risks.
Whilst Ireland is a relatively small country and may not have the greatest environmental impact globally, their movement towards cleaner energy will encourage many other countries who aren’t ready but willing to drop fossil fuel completely.