Friday, July 13, 2018

Ireland would be first country to divest from fossil fuels


Smokestacks loom over Bull Island, northeast of Dublin, in 2008. Dave Walsh/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
Colin Dwyer reports for NPR:
The Republic of Ireland took a crucial step Thursday toward becoming the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels. Lawmakers in the Dail, the lower house of parliament, advanced a bill requiring the Irish government's more than $10 billion national investment fund to sell off stakes in coal, oil, gas, and peat — and to do so "as soon as practicable."
The bill now heads to the upper chamber, known as Seanad, where it is expected to pass easily when it's taken up, likely in September. If the bill becomes law, as anticipated, it would rid the European nation of holdings valued at more than $370 million, according to TrĂ³caire, an Irish Catholic aid organization that has pushed hard for the bill.
The principal force behind the bill, independent lawmaker Thomas Pringle, praised the move Thursday as a "moment where we commit to getting serious."
"Let us show the Irish public and the international community that we are ready to think and act beyond narrow short-term and vested interests," he told his fellow lawmakers, "and will take the opportunities that lie ahead of us to bring in real change."

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