Greens back international treaty to end fossil fuel expansion

Members of the Green Party have voted to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty at their online spring conference.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas

The Green Party of England and Wales have voted to support the UK government signing an international treaty for the phasing out of fossil fuels. Party members passed a motion backing a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) at their spring conference being held online this weekend. 

The motion was proposed by a number of high profile party members including the sole Green MP Caroline Lucas and the party’s former co-leader Sian Berry. It read, “the world will need to decrease fossil fuel production by at least 6% per year between 2020 and 2030 – and to complement measures to reduce emissions and the demand for fossil fuels with measures to reduce their production and supply.” 

Elsewhere, the motion passed by members called on the UK government  “to publicly endorse the need for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT); to seek international agreement for a treaty to phase out fossil fuel production; and to bring forward comprehensive domestic fossil fuel regulation for a fast and fair transition.”

Speaking following the motion, Lucas said, “The Government is still shamelessly supporting the expansion of fossil fuels within the UK and there are at least 40 new oil, coal and gas projects seeking approval between now and 2025. This is totally incompatible with the need for urgent action on the climate emergency – and the bottom line is that fossil fuels need to stay in the ground.

“The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) paints a devastating picture of the impacts of the climate emergency and at a scale far greater than previously thought. The window for action is closing rapidly. A rapid shift away from fossil fuels can wedge it open but we must end the reckless drive to exploit more oil, gas and coal and accelerate the shift to a  future powered by renewables. 

“The UK government, which remains president of COP26 until November, talks a lot about the need for international cooperation to tackle the climate emergency. Let’s see it demonstrate its own commitment to such cooperation by signing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and ending any new fossil fuel production.”

The FFNPT takes as its model the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. This is an international agreement designed to end the expansion of nuclear arsenals and establishes a verified process for phasing out nuclear weapons which has been signed by over 50 members of the United Nations. 

This article was published jointly with Bright Green.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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