Ireland becomes first country to divest from fossil fuels

Ireland becomes first country to divest from fossil fuels
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Ireland on Thursday became the first country to divest from fossil fuels.

The country’s parliament passed a bill calling for Ireland’s $10.4 billion strategic investment fund to withdraw money invested in coal, oil and gas over the next five years, Reuters reported.

Last year, Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) had approximately $371 million invested in the fossil fuel industry, according to Reuters.

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Ireland’s announcement comes as fossil fuel divestment gains traction globally. The movement away from fossil fuels got a significant boost from the 2015 Paris climate accord, which set a goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels in this century.

Earlier this year, New York City announced its plans to divest its reported $189 billion public pension funds from fossil fuels over the next five years.

Ireland’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill is expected to become law before the end of the year, The Guardian reported.

“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,” said Thomas Pringle, who introduced the bill, according to The Guardian.

Last month, Ireland was rated the second-worst European country for action on climate change, but members of Parliament say they hope the measure is a step toward moving beyond that ranking.