Here’s some news you may have missed. Ireland is divesting of its fossil fuel investments. More and more individuals and institutions are realizing that holding and investing in fossil fuel companies is bad for the planet, bad economics and bad for their reputation and brand. Thus, they are all dumping their fossil fuel securities. And the movement is spreading: individuals, investment firms and funds, colleges and universities and banks are increasingly doing it.
As I keep repeating, you don’t want to be the last man standing…holding these securities when there is no longer a market for them especially as their prices and values plummet. Better to get out now while the getting is still good. Did you see the Wall Street Journal article recently about Exxon’s troubles?
Exxon, Once a ‘Perfect Machine,’ Is Running Dry
Ireland Poised to Become First Country to Divest
Damian Carrington, London Guardian
Ireland is expected to become the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels, after its parliament passed a bill out of the lower house this week.
The Irish fossil fuel divestment bill is expected to easily pass through the upper house. It could become law before the end of the year. The Irish state investment fund invests in more than 150 fossil fuel companies, totaling €300 million ($350.11 million).
Under the bill, the state’s national investment fund would be required to sell all coal, oil, gas and peat “as soon as is practicable,” which translates to about five years. Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund has only divested in part from fossil fuels. It has sold some investments in coal and has considered oil and gas holdings.
“Today, the Oireachtas [Irish parliament] has sent a powerful signal to the international community about the need to speed up the phase-out of fossil fuels,” said Éamonn Meehan, executive director of international development charity Trócaire. “Just last month, Ireland was ranked the second-worst European country for climate action, so the passing of this bill is good news. But it has to mark a significant change of pace on the issue.”
While divestment supporters say getting out of the industry is great for addressing climate change, critics say remaining as shareholders allows investors to make change from within (Damian Carrington, London Guardian, July 12). — KB