No Public Funds for Fossil Fuels

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This GOOD News for the planet as more and more countries move to reduce emissions.

Ireland on Thursday moved to pull its public funds out of fossil fuels, a development that marks the most significant advance to date for a divestment campaign pushed by environmentalists worldwide.

The lower house of Parliament passed a bill that requires the country’s sovereign fund, valued at 8.9 billion euros, or about $10.4 billion, to move out of fossil fuels “as soon as practicable.”

An aide to Thomas Pringle, the member of Parliament who proposed the measure, said the bill had the support of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and was expected to become law. When it does, Ireland will become the first country to formally pledge to divest from fossil fuels.

The vote in the Irish Parliament follows a recommendation by Norway’s central bank in late 2017 for its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund to drop its oil company investments. While Norway, the largest oil producer in Europe, has not yet decided on whether to divest, the very suggestion is a signal of waning confidence in the future of the petroleum business by one of its major players.

Eamonn Meehan, executive director of Trocaire, an Irish environmental lobby that has pushed for the bill, said in a statement the measure was “both substantive and symbolic.”

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