Ireland votes to divest public money from fossil fuels

Poolbeg Power station ireland photo
CC BY 2.0 deek ay

There are a fair few countries who have committed to phasing out the use of coal, but none have yet taken the step of divesting public funds from fossil fuels entirely.

Norway has made some impressive moves in that direction, but now Engaget reports that Ireland may beat them to a complete phase out of public money going to fossil fuel investments. The bill still has to clear review before it actually gets acted on, apparently, but if it does become law it would mean that an €8 billion ($8.6 billion) public fund would join the rapidly swelling total of funds committed to divesting from CO2-emitting energy sources.

Of course, naysayers will opine that divestment does little, and that public funds should be managed for fiscal gain not social engineering. But naysayers would be wrong. Aside from anything else, the very real financial threat of the carbon bubble means that fund managers had better start limiting their exposure to old, outdated forms of energy.

The only thing sillier than continuing to invest in these industries would be taking policy steps to increase reliance on them. But what country would be silly enough to do that?

Ireland votes to divest public money from fossil fuels
Ethics might be the driving force, but if 'carbon bubble' fears play out, it's likely to be a sound economic move too.

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