Time for a Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty

November 28, 2020 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

Climate Action Moreland has endorsed the international call for a Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty.

This is an initiative to phase-out fossil fuels and fast-track solutions.

The call for this treaty follows in the wake of two significant movements here in Australia with a local focus and municipal support.

The first was the Nuclear Free Zone movement in the early 1980s. Indeed, the Cain Victorian Labor Government passed the Nuclear Activities (Prohibitions) Act in March 1983. (Read the debate in Hansard PDF) Both Coburg and Brunswick Councils declared themselves nuclear free zones at the time.

The second significant movement was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) by the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and local affiliate, the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW). The Campaign was launched here in Melbourne in April 2007, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) was adopted at the United Nations by a vote of 122-1. On 24 October 2020 the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was ratified by the 50th state, triggering its entry into force on 22 January 2021. (It now has 84 signatories). Moreland Council voted in support of this treaty urging the Prime Minister to sign it for Australia at the 11 April 2018 Council meeting.

Addressing the Climate Crisis is arguably now more important than abolishing the threat of nuclear war.

The UNFCCC Paris Agreement, signed in Paris in 2015, never once mentions fossil fuels, coal, gas or oil.

In 2017 Climate Action Moreland signed the Lofoten Declaration, an international call to start the transition to phase out all fossil Fuels.

We need to progress the phaseout of all fossil fuels on an international level as we face a climate crisis. We have a climate emergency.

A Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty can be an important international mechanism for transition.

While we take climate emergency action locally in Moreland, and more widely in Victoria and Australia, international action through the United Nations treaty system can also be effective.

Preventing the proliferation of coal, oil and gas by ending all new exploration and production

The world is on track to produce more than twice as much coal, oil and gas by 2030 than is consistent with limiting the rise in global temperature to below 1.5C, according to the United Nations and other organizations. An immediate end to exploration and expansion into new reserves is needed to prevent the proliferation of unnecessary and unburnable fossil fuels, to protect workers, communities and investments from becoming stranded, and to avoid locking the world into catastrophic and irreversible climate disruption.

Phasing-out existing stockpiles and production of fossil fuels in line with the 1.5C global climate goal

The world’s oil and gas fields and coal mines contain enough carbon to push the world beyond the Paris Agreement’s temperature limits. Phasing-out fossil fuel production must start by regulating fossil fuel supply, limiting extraction, removing subsidies for production, dismantling unnecessary infrastructure, defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples and impacted communities, and shifting support to safer alternatives, in order to align fossil fuel supply with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Fast-tracking real solutions and a just transition for every worker, community and country

The scale of the challenge demands urgent collective action. A peaceful and just transition calls for a clear path and a proactive plan to enable economic diversification, implement renewable energy and other reliable, cost-effective low-carbon solutions, and to support every worker, community and country. We can either intentionally develop new ways to meet our needs or lose the window of opportunity to ensure a safe climate, healthy economy and sustainable future.

Individuals and organisations can endorse the campaign.

The 2019 Production Gap report highlighted the discrepancy between fossil fuel extraction and how much we need to leave in the ground to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and reduce the climate crisis. “Governments are planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 2°C and 120% more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.”

Fossil Fuel Production Gap

The Production Gap Report highlighted the alarming discrepancy between countries’ planned fossil fuel production and levels consistent with limiting warming to well below 2°C. A forthcoming 2020 special issue will speak to major changes in energy markets and government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia Fossil Fuel Projections:

Source: Production Gap Report 2019)

“Australia: Government projections show coal production growing another 10% by 2024 and 34% by 2030, relative to 2018 levels (Office of the Chief Economist 2019; Syed 2014). As shown in Figure 4.6, the government also envisions gas production growing 20% by 2024 and 33% by 2030 relative to 2018 levels (Office of the Chief Economist 2019; Syed 2014).

Under these projections, Australia’s extraction-based emissions from fossil fuel production would nearly double (a 95% increase) by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. However, its NDC targets a reduction in territorial GHG emissions of 26–28% over the same period (Government of Australia 2016)”

Recent forums discussing Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy

Climate Week NYC Event: International Co-Operation to Align Fossil Fuel Production with a 1.5C World (25 September 2020 90 minutes length)


Stockholm Environment Institute on 2020 Virtual Forum on Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy (September 2020 – 60 mins length)



Entry filed under: campaigns, climate change info, news. Tags: , , .

Taking the temperature of Moreland Playgrounds and surfaces Australia wins at not honouring 1.5C climate commitment.

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