Belfast City Council should divest from fossil fuels

Two motions seeking to reduce the impact of fossil fuels are being considered by Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy committee tomorrow, Friday, 18 December 2015.

East Belfast Councillor Ross Brown, of the Green Party, is calling for the Council to divest from fossil fuels and develop an action plan to become fossil fuel free by 2015.

Councillor Ross Brown said,

“There is not a single scientific body of national standing that disputes climate change, and leading scientists recognise that three quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground in order to prevent global warming.

“Investing in fossil fuels is both an ethical and economic issue. A wide range of organisations, including the Bank of England, have warned that fossil fuel investments are a high risk strategy and a threat to financial stability as the value of investments are based on fossil fuels which can never be burned.

“Like the house price bubble when houses were overvalued, a carbon bubble has developed.

“Funds should be invested in less destructive organisations.”

Councillor Ross Brown added,

“Belfast City Council should take the lead in Northern Ireland in transitioning away from reliance on fossil fuels. Nearly 5000 local authorities across Europe have already done so.

“Developing an energy transition plan will ensure that proper incentives are in place to encourage inward investment in sustainable energy from businesses.

“From insulating our buildings and utilising renewable energy, to incentivizing sustainable transport, there are many reasonable actions the Council could take to reduce our dependence on oil and gas.”

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