Trinity College Dublin announces plans to divest from fossil fuels

Trinity Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast says the move puts them "at the forefront of sustainability"

Trinity College Dublin announces plans to divest from fossil fuels

Image: Maxwells Dublin

Trinity College has announced its plans to sell of its investments in companies whose primary business involves extracting fossil fuels.

The Dublin college says it is the first university in Ireland to divest its oil, coal and gas investments.

Trinity officials say the decision is in response to a 15-month-long student campaign dubbed 'Fossil Free TCD'.

It announced the plans at an announcement for the global ‘Divest-Invest’ campaign, which will see 677 institutions and 58,399 individuals worldwide take part in similar initiatives. 

Participating groups - including organisations and investors from 77 countries - are estimated to represent $5 trillion in assets.

Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “Our decision puts the University at the forefront of sustainability and institutional fossil fuel divestment nationally. Trinity intends to play our part in delivering the Paris Agreement.

"We aspire to be a leader in sustainability and climate solutions in every aspect of the College, not only in investments but in our research, and also in how the campus operates," he added.

Deirdre Duff of 'Fossil Free TCD' observed: “By joining the international divestment movement Trinity is sending a message that the fossil fuel era is ending. The transition to renewable energy must be accelerated rapidly if we are to safeguard the future of human civilisation."

The move has been welcomed by environmental campaigners. 

Phil Kearney, Chair of the An Taisce Climate Change Committee, said: "President Trump is saying very concerning things about his intentions with regard to climate action. In Ireland on the other hand politicians are saying lots about our commitment to climate change, but in reality we’re moving in the wrong direction.

"We’ll be joining them at the Dáil tomorrow to show politicians that the voices in Ireland calling for real ambition and action are growing."