A majority vote in Ireland (90 to 53) passed a historic legislative bill that would prohibit investments made in fossil fuel from the country's eight-billion pound Strategic Investment Fund.
“...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,” said Trocaire Executive Director, Eamonn Meehan.
The new bill, which was proposed by Deputy Thomas Pringle, will effectively become law shortly, but it must first be reviewed by a financial committee in the coming months. Barring any disagreements or problems during the review, Ireland is set to become the first country in the world to completely divest away from fossil fuels.
This is undoubtedly a win for those waging the war against dirty-energy and the fossil fuel industry, even if many speculate that the small size of the country will ultimately have a small effect on the environment. More importantly, it shows unity and solidarity with other nations who are striving to accomplish the same thing.
At the moment, Ireland’s move away from fossil fuels is by the far the most dramatic ever seen. However, the country is just one of many throughout the world trying to fight climate change in their own way.
Norway has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030; China recently said that they are planning to halt operations of 104 coal-fired projects across 13 provinces; and the Divest Invest Initiative has seen 76 countries pledge to divest nearly $5.2 trillion away from the fossil fuel market as of December 2016.
While one country alone might not make the difference we are all searching for, the world has a strong chance of accomplishing our climate change goals by banding together.
What do you think? Should more countries follow in Ireland’s footsteps and ban investments in the dirty-energy sector?