Ireland Becomes First Country to Stop Funding Fossil Fuels
Ireland has made a history by signing itself as the first country in the world to completely stop investing its money in fossil fuels.
According to Futurism, the fossil fuel divestment bill gathered the majority vote, 90 to 53, of the Irish parliament, in favor of putting breaks on coal, oil and gas investments from the eight-billion-pound Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. The piece of legislation is now set to move forward to the Committee stage in the Irish Parliament.
Reports say the success is the result of intense campaigning from key members of the parliament, climate change advocates and Trocaire, a Catholic development charity behind the political campaign. The group raises awareness about certain issues in Ireland, including the importance of the environment and how climate change is causing poverty, inequality and injustice, especially among the most marginalized sectors.
In a statement, Eamon Meehan of Trócaire said, "With a climate-sceptic recently inaugurated into the White House, this move by elected representatives in Ireland will send out a powerful message. The Irish political system is now finally acknowledging what the overwhelming majority of people already know: That to have a fighting chance to combat catastrophic climate change we must phase out fossil fuels and stop the growth of the industry that is driving this crisis."
The bill was initiated by Deputy Thomas Pringle, who sees this as a matter of "ethical financing."
"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," Pringle said, as quoted by Climate Change News.
Times of India notes that once enacted, the bill would force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell its investment in fossil fuel industries over the next five years.