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Wellington becomes latest capital city to formally endorse Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal

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Less than 24 hours after COP28 ends, Wellington becomes latest capital city to formally endorse Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal

December 14th, 2023 – Wellington – Today, Wellington City Council became the latest capital city to formally endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal. The resolution was passed less than 24 hours after the UN Climate Talks ended with a weak mention of the need to “transition away from fossil fuels” but no binding plan for how to do so.

Wellington’s endorsement was proposed by Councillor Nīkau Wi Neera and seconded by Mayor Tory Whanau. Wellington joins Kāpiti Coast District Council as the second municipal government in Aotearoa New Zealand to back the proposal, which also had previously gained support from the former New Zealand Climate Minister James Shaw but is yet to have formal backing from the recently elected New Zealand government.

Mary Moeono-Kolio, a Pacific Climate Warrior said “Pacific climate activists will not stop until we bring an end to the fossil fuel era. While we may be at the frontline of climate impacts, the Pacific is also at the frontline of the fight for climate justice. It’s time that New Zealand gets on the waka and genuinely back and supports the Pacific Island’s call for a fair, funded, and final phase out of fossil fuels and equitable transition to renewable energy, by endorsing the call for fossil fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty”

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal is now supported by 12 nation-states on 4 continents, including several Pacific Island nations and most recently Colombia, a major coal and oil producer who backed the mechanism at COP28.

At the close of the COP28 climate talks, Pacific Island nations called on other governments to join them in seeking a negotiating mandate for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Ralph Regenvanu, Minister of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, Meteorology, Geohazards and Disaster Management of Vanuatu said “We, the Small Island States, are showing the world that we punch above our weight when it comes to international climate diplomacy.  There is simply far more fossil fuels in the Earth’s crust than we can ever burn and as we deploy renewable energy at a speed and intensity that allows us to supply clean energy for all, it would be unacceptable for fossil fuel producers to respond by continuing to increase production to defend their market share. A Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty would provide a means to enable international cooperation to phase out fossil fuels.”

Just as nuclear-free cities played a crucial role in building momentum toward the negotiation of a Nuclear Ban Treaty, Wellington has joined Sydney, the Australian Capital Territory, London, Lima, Kolkata, the State of California and more than 100 other cities and subnational governments globally who have formally supported the call for a Fossil Fuel Treaty.

The push for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is spearheaded by a bloc of 8 governments – Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, Niue, the Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Antigua and Barbuda – who have committed to lead the creation of a global alliance to negotiate Fossil Fuel Treaty. The proposal is also supported by the World Health Organization, the European Parliament, 101 Nobel Laureates, 600+ parliamentarians in 83 countries,  2,100 civil society organizations, 3,000 scientists and academics and over 90 cities and subnational governments.

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