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Fossil fuels are yesterday’s fuels - Brian Stanley TD

19 January, 2017 - by Brian Stanley TD

Speaking on the Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate  Action and Environment Brian Stanley TD outlined the party’s commitment to a green economic future for Ireland.

Deputy Stanley stated:

“Sinn Féin is committed to building a greener economy and to play our role as a country in moving away from dependence on fossil fuels.

“Fossil fuels are yesterday’s fuels or soon will be. It is the progressive, forward looking thing to do to move beyond a reliance on fossil fuels and instead to look to the future.

“The Ireland Strategic Investment Fund hold over €7bn in assets and cash on behalf of the Irish people to be invested for the Irish people.

“It is Sinn Fein’s view of that the State should invest in a sensible, morally ethical and economically prudent way. That approach means we believe human rights considerations should always be incorporated into investment decision.

“Poor long term planning and decision making based on short term political gains by successive governments have left Ireland trailing on renewable energy provision and left us with an environmentally unsustainable economy. However, the future economic or energy security of Ireland cannot be dependent on fossil fuels.

“Economically fossil fuels represent less and less of a sound investment. It is widely acknowledged among the scientific community that in order to avoid a catastrophic rise in global temperature above 2°C then 80% of all known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. The ISIF currently has more than €100 million invested in the fossil fuel industry. This is public money which is invested against the public interest.

“On a global level 2016 has been recorded as the hottest year since records began whilst, meaning the last 3 years have consecutively broken records as the hottest on record. The effects of global warming have been felt here in Ireland, with extreme weather conditions resulting in extensive flooding that has been a devastating blow to grain farmers in particular.

“There has been a growing trend in recent years on investment funds divesting all or part of their holdings in producers of oil, gas and coal with 689 institutions moving an estimated $400 Billion away from fossil fuels to date.

“Coupled with the divestment from fossil fuels there must be a sustained effort on behalf of the state to invest sensibly in the provision of renewable energy infrastructure as well as research and development of future renewable energy technologies.

“Investment and development in our native renewable resources is necessary to secure Ireland’s energy needs into the future.”

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