The Republic of Ireland on Thursday, July 12 is set to become the world’s first country to publicly divest from fossil fuels in order to combat man-made climate change and transition towards clean renewable energy. The Fossil Fuel Divestment bill, passed by the lower chamber of the national parliament in Dublin with majority support from the political left, right, and center as well as non-partisan independents, will legally prohibit the government’s national investment fund to sell of stakes in both coal, natural gas, and petroleum oil over the next five years between . The bill will now go on the Irish Senate where it will be up for a vote in September. If ratified into law, the bill will be enacted by the end of 2018.
Ireland is not the only place in the world making serious efforts to protect the environment. In January of 2018, the New York City government under liberal Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that they will divest pension funds from fossil fuel companies. Cities such as Seattle and Washington, D.C. have done similar actions in recent years. India, one of the world’s fastest-growing developing countries, plans to abolish all single-use plastic products and materials by 2022 in order to combat waste and reduce the usage of certain carbon-based products.
Ireland is becoming more progressive in recent years. With the legalization of same-sex marriage and the repeal of the anti-abortion Eighth Amendment, the historically Catholic island country in the British Isles appears to be moving forward in its future.
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