It’s a first of its kind and Ireland will become the first country to fully divest from fossil fuel. On Thursday, the lower house of the Irish legislature passed a bill that addresses the climate crisis that the world faces.
With support from both parties, the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, ” mandates that the €8.9 billion ($10.4 billion) Ireland Strategic Investment Fund divest all investments in coal, oil, peat, and gas “as soon as practicable” but within five years, and bars future investments in the industry,” Common Dreams reported. Officials say the bill will pass easily through the upper house of parliament and could become law before the end of 2018.
“The [divestment] movement is highlighting the need to stop investing in the expansion of a global industry which must be brought into managed decline if catastrophic climate change is to be averted,” Thomas Pringle, the lawmaker who introduced the bill, said in a story on the Guardian. “Ireland, by divesting, is sending a clear message that the Irish public and the international community are ready to think and act beyond narrow short term vested interests.”
While Ireland is making history, many emphasized the need for the rest of the world to follow the Irish’s lead.
“Governments will not meet their obligations under the Paris agreement on climate change if they continue to financially sustain the fossil fuel industry,” Gerry Liston from Global Legal Action and drafter of the measure said. “Countries the world over must now urgently follow Ireland’s lead and divest from fossil fuels.”