The European nation may be on its way to averting climate change.
The bill passed by the Irish parliament means more than €300m shares in coal, oil, peat and gas will be sold “as soon as practicable.” Proponents of the divestment move have said that existing fossil fuel resources are already catastrophic to the environment and that producing more fossil fuels is “morally wrong and economically risky.”
Thomas Pringle, the independent member of parliament who introduced the bill, said: “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.”
“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,” he added.
Development charities such as the Trócaire have also backed up Ireland’s decision. “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,” said Éamonn Meehan, executive director of Trócaire.
Meehan added: “Just last month Ireland was ranked the second worst European country for climate action, so the passing of this bill is good news. But it has to mark a significant change of pace on the issue.”
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