Irish parliament's vote to ban offshore oil drilling gets the approval of Cher

The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) Climate Emergency Measures Bill 2018 was debated in the Dáil on Wednesday and secured the backing of 78 TDs, with 48 opposing it. Dáil Éireann (Assembly of Ireland) is the lower house, and principal chamber, of the Oireachtas (Irish legislature).

Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Green Party all supported the motion potentially resulting in Ireland not issuing new licences to companies to drill offshore for fossil fuels. The vote follows a successful vote in favour of banning onshore drilling, or ‘fracking’, last summer. The bill will now advance to the committee stage. 

Ireland's Green Party leader Eamon Ryan described the vote as a historic day for environmentalism in Ireland, stating that “the tide has turned on fossil fuels, and there is widespread political support now for a just transition to renewable power.”

“If we are to keep global temperature rises below 1.5-2 degrees, avoiding climate chaos, then 80% of known fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground. By signing the Paris Agreement, Ireland committed to such a plan.” 

There was wide support for the measure, including from some surprising sources. Cher, the American singer and actress, tweeted her support for the legislation after being asked to help protect Ireland’s visiting population of 250,000 dolphins.

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