Okay so granted this is probably my worst joke so far but there is something magical in its level of rubbish. Talking about rubbish, this blog is focused on the recent news that Ireland has just passed laws to become the world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels.
The Irish Parliament passed the historic legislation in a 90 to 53 vote in favour of dropping coal, oil and gas investments from the £6.8bn Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, part of the Republic’s National Treasury Management Agency. According to the Guardian ‘Once enacted, the bill would force the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund to sell its investment in fossil fuel industries over the next five years.’ This for me is the important element to this recent development.
The fact is, although headlines claiming that this is a seismic shift towards a greener planet (well for Ireland anyway) may seem positive, there is little to be hopeful for in the modern political climate. I believe that within this process to sell Irelands investments in fossil fuels the problem is not going away, but simply being passed on. Of course many would claim the profit gained from selling such investments can be reinvested into renewable energy manufacturing and research. I similarly understand that the world of green energy can be a frightening one, particularly for a government which can be held responsible. Yet surely it is time that there is a coherent effort, internationally, to both support investment into renewable energy and research also.
This brings me on to the subject of Donald Trump, sorry in advance. I promise this is more than relevant, as his predecessor Barack Obama was a symbol of change, not just for America domestically, but also the first president to enact real policies to combat climate change. Donald Trump however is…… actually you know what I’ll simply quote him instead.
‘The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.’
‘It’s record cold all over the country and world – where the hell is global warming, we need some fast!’
‘When will our country stop wasting money on global warming and so many other truly “STUPID” things and begin to focus on lower taxes?’
‘Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!’
The truth is, there is no reason why Trump shouldn’t be embracing investment into clean energy and using his executive powers to really have a positive impact. He says he want to create jobs for American people right? The solar and wind industries are each creating jobs at a rate 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy, according to a new report. The study, published by the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps program, says that solar and wind jobs have grown at rates of about 20% annually in recent years, and sustainability now collectively represents four to four and a half million jobs in the U.S., up from 3.4 million in 2011.
So that settled then. Donald Trump needs to support the industry he has been fighting all is ‘political career’ in order to create real jobs and a better standard of living for American people. Yet as I stated at the start this isn’t just for Ireland or America to solve, this is a very international issue.