Ireland to Become First Nation to Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels

Irish lawmakers voted this week to drop coal, oil, and gas stocks from the nation’s $9 billion Strategic Investment Fund — making Ireland likely to become the first country in the world to fully divest its assets from fossil fuels. The measure, known as the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill, passed 90 to 53 and is expected to become law in the next few months after review by the finance committee.

The law would require the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, managed by the National Treasury, to sell its fossil fuel interests over the next five years. To date, investment funds worth more than $5 trillion have vowed to divest from fossil fuels worldwide.

“National governments have an essential role to play in backing up their Paris pledges by ensuring public funds are well placed to support the clean energy transition, and protected from the inevitable decline of the fossil fuel industry,” said legislator Thomas Pringle, who introduced the bill.