Ireland is Going Green
March 30, 2017
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Rolling hills and emerald fields – these are the things that come to mind when Ireland is mentioned, and, thanks to a recently passed bill, it might stay that way. There has been a lot of recent controversy over climate change, with President Donald Trump denying its existence, but Ireland has taken a big step forward in doing their part to slow down climate change. Internationally, governments spend around $1 trillion on fossil fuels and subsidies, but a recently passed bill will end all federal spending on fossil fuels in Ireland. Those responsible claim that this was a long time coming and that it was necessary for good moral standing because of the negative effects of climate change.
This bill was passed 90 to 53 in favor. This bill will officially divest all federal money from fossil fuels in an attempt to make the country entirely fossil fuel free by the end of the century. This will keep $8.6 billion from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund. The man who introduced the bill, Deputy Thomas Pringle said, “This principle of ethical financing is a symbol to these global corporations that their continual manipulation of climate science, denial of the existence of climate change, and their controversial lobbying practices of politicians around the world is no longer tolerated…We cannot accept their actions while millions of poor people in underdeveloped nations bear the brunt of climate change forces as they experience famine, mass emigration, and civil unrest as a result.”
Once it has been looked over by the environmental review committee, the bill will pass. This will create significant changes to many companies and put some of them out of business. For example, the ISIF will have to sell all of its stocks in the fossil fuel industry over the next five years. To quote John Wesesky on the subject of Ireland going green, “Is it going to be as green as their shamrocks?” Perhaps the hope is to achieve complete green energy for Ireland in the future. In order to achieve this they have already begun planning 20 to 30 new ground solar farms which could each have the capacity for 5-20 MW (5,000,000-20,000,000 watts), or enough energy to fuel 3,250 to 13,000 residential homes at the rate of 1 MW powering 650 homes an hour, according to Idaho Public Utilities Commission. In the best case scenario they could power up to 390,000 homes at a time, and that is just the beginning.