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Historic step as Dáil backs Bill to divest state funds from fossil fuel companies

26 Jan 2017

Government Defeated as Dáil takes historic step towards fossil free future

Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill passes second stage 90-53

Friends of the Earth has hailed as "historic" today's Dáil vote to progress a Bill to pull taxpayer's money out of fossil fuel companies. The Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill passed Second Stage by 90 votes to 53. Fine Gael and the independents who support the minority government were the only TDs to vote against the Bill, which will now passes to a Dáil Committee. It was the seventh Dáil defeat for the government since it was formed last year.

Commenting on the landmark vote, Oisin Coghlan, Director of Friends of the Earth said:

"This is first real sign of leadership from Ireland on climate action.

"Over the last 20 years our Governments have more often been laggards than leaders. Playing catch up at best, more often being delinquent.

"Today our parliament stepped up and overruled the ministers and civil servants whose first instinct is to do as little as possible, and nothing at all until they are forced to act.

"Enda Kenny put Fine Gael on the wrong side of history today. You have to ask what fossil fuels does the Taoiseach want to invest it?

"In the absence of political leadership citizens and communities are doing it for themselves. Getting together to make their communities more energy efficient, to keep them fracking-free and now to make sure the Government stops investing our taxes in fossil fuel companies."

The campaign to divest the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund from fossil fuels has been led by Trócaire, with the support of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition. It is one of the top line policy demands of Stop Climate Chaos.

Another Private Members Bill, to ban fracking, has already passed second stage over Government objections and is now the subject of a public consultation by the Oireachtas Committee Climate Action and Environment.

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