Ireland to become first country to divest from fossil fuels

The Irish parliament has passed a bill forcing the country’s €9m ($10bn) sovereign wealth fund to divest its holdings of oil, gas, coal and peat companies “as soon as is practicable”, the Financial Times and others report.

The move will make Ireland the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels, the FT says.

The rule will bar investments in “any company or project that derives more than 20% of its revenue from fossil fuels”, the paper adds.

The passing of the bill was greeted by applause from the public gallery in parliament, reports

Ireland’s sovereign fund currently holds fossil fuel investments that stood at €318m across 150 companies as of June 2017, says the Irish Times. The bill passed parliament with “all-party support”, reports the Guardian.

It adds that Norway’s much larger $1tn sovereign wealth fund has only partially divested from fossil fuels.

The decision is a “victory for the global divestment movement”, says the New York Times, which cites the bill’s sponsor saying it has the support of Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar.

Groups behind the global divestment movement says other nations must “urgently follow Ireland’s lead”, reports the Independent.

Ireland is one of the few European countries not on course to meet its EU emissions reduction targets for 2020, notes BBC News’s coverage.

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