Ireland Fully Divests from Fossil Fuels
This week the Irish Parliament voted to pull its investments from fossil fuel companies. This means that Ireland will essentially divest the country from any funds currently supporting coal, gas, peat and petroleum.
The national fund, namely the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), currently represents €8.9 billion. Its mandate is to support the long term employment and economic needs of the republic. Of this total amount, over €300m is invested in over 150 different fossil fuel companies. That’s what parliament is looking to change.
Cheers to Planetary Health
In so doing, Ireland is actually the world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels! Thankfully, a number of cities (see NYC is Stepping Up), organizations, and investment funds have already announced their intent. Ireland however is formally the first nation to make this commitment.
Cutting off the flow of public funds to fossil fuel companies is clearly required. Governments and investment funds are obviously meant to consider the future in their plans and policies. This comes into direct conflict with the fossil fuel industry that is literally endangering future generations. Other countries now need to follow suit as quickly as possible. But this kind of milestone doesn’t happen through osmosis. It takes social activism and public pressure to help design a sustainable future.
Celebrating the Changemakers
Once again environmental legislation came to pass as a direct result of the dedicated individuals who were willing to put in the effort (see Change is Possible). A key organization in Ireland’s sustainable achievement was Trócaire. Affiliated with the Catholic Church, Trócaire is an association committed to social justice and humanitarian work. They didn’t work alone.
In addition, were contributions from the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN). GLAN is a social justice oriented non-for-profit that supported the legal framework for the new bill. Through their efforts and the voices of concerned citizens, parliamentary members from a range of parties voted the bill into law. This week’s accomplishment proves that implementing sustainable policy is possible. We can influence change.