Ireland First to Legislate Fossil Fuel Divestment by 2023
(12 July 2018 - Ireland) Ireland has become the world’s first country to legislate to divest completely from fossil fuels, after its parliament passed a bill compelling the €8.9 billion Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to withdraw all money invested in oil, gas and coal.
The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill was passed by Ireland’s Dail on Thursday, requiring ISIF to offload direct investments in fossil fuel undertakings recently estimated at around €318 million across 150 companies in five years and make no future investments in the industry. The bill describes “fossil fuel undertakings” as those “whose business is engaged, for the time being, in the exploration for or extraction or refinement of a fossil fuel where such activity accounts for 20 percent or more of the turnover of that undertaking”
Indirect investment in fossil fuels is also ruled out, unless there is no more than 15 per cent of an asset invested in a fossil fuel undertaking. The move follows a broad public commitment, in May, from the president of Costa Rica to “abolish fossil fuels” from its economy. And on a smaller scale, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced in January that the city would divest its $US189-billion pension funds from fossil fuel companies – estimated at around US$5 billion. But Ireland is believed to be the first nation to commit fossil fuel divestment to law.
“This bill will make Ireland the first country to commit to divest public money from the fossil fuel industry. With this bill we are leading the way at state level but we are lagging seriously behind on our EU and international climate commitments” said independent MP Thomas Pringle who introduced the bill to parliament in 2016.
Sweden is ahead of schedule meeting one of its ambitious renewable energy targets as a result of wind turbines. In 2012, Norway and Sweden reached a joint agreement to increase their production of electricity from renewable energy sources by 28.4 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2020 but Sweden then went a step further by increasing its target, aiming to add another 18 TWh by 2030. By the end of 2018 Sweden will have installed 3,681 turbines with a capacity of 7,506 MW and an estimated annual production of 19.8 TWh. Taking into account the number of wind turbines already constructed in addition to planned wind turbine investments for the remainder of the year, Sweden is on track to hit its 2030 target, incredibly by the end of 2018.