Ireland is set to sell off its remaining investments in fossil fuel companies after a bill was passed its parliament to disinvest from fossil fuels. The bill passed the Irish parliament with support from all parties.
The new Irish law called, The Fossil Fuel Divestment bill, will force government owned investments, including the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to end any investments in non-renewable energy within the next five years. The ISIF fund, a government run agency, has statutory mandate to invest on a commercial basis in a manner designed to support economic activity and employment in Ireland. The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund is worth as much as 8 billion Euros or 10 billion USD.
Ireland set to sell off €318 million investments in fossil fuels https://t.co/InOkuzUTBI
— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) July 12, 2018
ISIF representatives have been working with legislators to get ready for the passing of this bill. Conor O’Kelly, CEO of the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) said in a statement, “The NTMA has been liaising with Government officials in respect of this bill and is preparing for its implementation once commenced”. The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) is the government body that oversees the ISIF in Ireland.
He added that ISIF is “well advanced in selling down the global portfolio in line with investment commitments in Ireland. This means that we are ultimately divesting of all our global exposures” and that “in Ireland, ISIF’s focus in the energy sector is on supporting the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economy”.
Under the Irish agencies investment strategy, it has excluded 16 companies materially involved in the production and processing of oil and coal sands – some of the heaviest emitting fossil fuels.
The fossil fuel divestment movement is growing rapidly as trillions of dollars are being reinvested in more sustainable forms of energy production. The sovereign state of Ireland joins large pension funds, insurers, cities such as New York, churches, and universities in the movement to disinvest from fossil fuels.
Other countries are working to place similar policies. New Zealand issued a law this year that effectively banned new oil and gas exploration projects.
Environmentalists around the world have praised these efforts by the Irish government to combat climate change and reduce its emissions. But we are all on the clock here when it comes to climate change. Report found that Ireland is one of the few European countries not on course to meet its emission reduction targets for 2020 and had described its current use of renewable energy as “insufficient”. Hopefully these new laws will help pick up the pace, for all our sake.
Check out our post about the best and worst prepared countries for climate change.