January 27, 2017; Energy Voice
According to a number of sources, including the Irish Times, the Irish parliament, with cross-party support, has voted to divest public money from fossil fuels, making Ireland the first nation in the world to make even this first step towards such a divestment law, which will still take months to pass.
Thomas Pringle, who introduced the bill in the Dáil (parliament) in Dublin, said that the move would help distinguish Ireland as a force on the world stage.
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 brunt of climate change forces as they experience famine, mass emigration and civil unrest as a result.
The bill would force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell its investments in fossil fuel industries within five years and would ban it from making new investments in the sector.
Eamonn Meehan, executive director of development agency Trócaire, which has been advocating the change, said: “With a climate skeptic 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.
In Norway, the state pension fund is considering divesting from high carbon emission companies, and New Zealand is soon expected to establish goals for greener investments.—Ruth McCambridge