New bill will make Ireland the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuel assets
Ireland is on track to become the first country in the world to divest public money from fossil fuel assets following a landmark vote in Ireland's Dáil (Parliament).
The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, introduced by independent TD Thomas Pringle, whose drafting was led by GLAN, seeks to align with Ireland’s climate change commitments agreed in the Paris Agreement on global warming. It will compel the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to sell off its investments in the global fossil fuel industry. As of June 2018, these assets stood at €318 million, across 150 companies worldwide.
GLAN's legal officer Gerry Liston who led the technical drafting process stated: “Governments will not meet their obligations under the Paris agreement on climate change if they continue to financially sustain the fossil fuel industry. Countries the world over must now urgently follow Ireland’s lead and divest from fossil fuels.”
“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,” said Thomas Pringle, the independent member of parliament who introduced the bill. “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.”
Éamonn Meehan, executive director of international development charity Trócaire, said: “Today the Oireachtas [Irish parliament] has sent a powerful signal to the international community about the need to speed up the phase-out of fossil fuels.”