Extinction Rebellion protests fossil fuels at Irish Funds conference

ExtinctionPressure group Extinction Rebellion targeted the conference of the Irish funds trade body on Thursday (18th) this week – a move welcomed by an asset management delegate at the event.

Around ten people protested outside the Dublin Royal Convention Centre as Irish Funds held its annual Global Funds Conference inside.

Dubbed a ‘die in’, protestors lay ‘dead’ on the floor outside the building as delegates took part in the one-day event.

According to Nik Pratt, Funds Europe’s journalist at the conference, the protest was welcomed by some delegates.

In a panel discussion George Latham, a managing partner at WHEB Asset Management, said the protest was a good thing because there was too much “tummy tickling” in ESG and he urged conference delegates to engage with protestors.

Latham took part in a panel called ‘Driving Financial Returns via ESG’ and later went to speak to the protestors.

'Leader' of the protest, Angela Deegan, told our correspondent: "We are here today because Irish Funds is endorsing some of the biggest funders of fossil fuels. We are calling on Irish Funds to expel these companies from its organisation."

She claimed engagement "had not been very successful so we need to push for divestment", particularly investing in any new fossil fuel developments.

One protestor carried a placard saying ‘if [sic] irish funds members divest from fossil fuels we could have a future’. Irish Funds often uses the abbreviation ‘if’ and the typeface used by the protestors matched that of the trade body.

In 2018 Ireland passed a bill requiring its sovereign wealth fund to divest from fossil fuels. Ireland was the first country to take this measure.

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