When I wrote about Ireland voting to divest public money from fossil fuels, commenter Colm O'Gairbhith welcomed the move but pointed out that there was much more that could be done:
91% of Ireland's energy came from fossil fuels in 2014, 85% of it's energy was imported and current government policy (since 2011) is very sluggish on transition away from fossil fuels. I think this bill is great but ireland still has a long way to go to be a front-runner in a sustainable energy future.
Now the country is making another move, however, as Business Green reports that it has just joined the growing list of countries and state/regional governments committing to a complete phase out of unabated (eg no carbon capture and storage) coal power. Admittedly, Ireland only had one coal power plant left at Moneypoint in County Clare, but this is now set to close by 2025 at the latest. Avery single commitment like this makes it that much more obvious to investors and regulators and industry alike that countries who are dragging their feet or trying to prop up inefficient and outdated infrastructure will eventually get left behind.
The move from Ireland brings the Powering Past Coal Alliance up to a total of 27 countries, with many regional governments like Ontario, Washington State and Oregon also joining the mix. Business Green also reports that the government recently unveiled a much broader agenda for decarbonization and energy market reform.
Let's hope this is a sign of even bigger things to come.