The lower house of the Irish parliament voted 90-53 last week to advance a bill that would require the country’s €8-billion sovereign wealth fund to divest all its holdings in coal, oil, and gas.
The bill now goes to committee review, from which it is expected to re-emerge with no major changes.
“National governments have an essential role to play in backing up their Paris pledges by ensuring public funds are well placed to support the clean energy transition, and protected from the inevitable decline of the fossil fuel industry,” said independent representative Thomas Pringle, who introduced the bill in January.
“Passage of the bill would mark a significant victory for the fossil fuel divestment movement, marking the first time a country has decided to fully divest its sovereign wealth fund,” Corporate Knights reports. “The bill would require the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) to sell off all investments in fossil fuel industries over the next five years.”
The fund’s mandate “already includes a strong commitment to sustainability and transitioning to a low-carbon economy, but a 2015 study identified €100 million in legacy fossil fuel assets still held by the fund.”