Global Leaders Unite for Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

Amidst the UN climate negotiations in Dubai, Colombia, the largest producer of coal and gas in Latin America, officially joins the coalition advocating for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. President Gustavo Petro, in a pivotal announcement at the UN COP28 Climate Talks, emphasized the urgent need to address the existential threat posed by fossil fuels.

Colombia’s commitment, despite its economic reliance on coal and oil, signifies a bold move towards averting planetary “omnicide.” This historic decision was disclosed during a High-Level Party Event, attended by influential leaders such as President José Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste, Prime Minister Kausea Natano of Tuvalu, and Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, along with key figures from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme.

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
Presidents engage in discussions about the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

President Petro underscored the imperative to choose life over short-term profits, confronting the clash between fossil capital and human survival. He declared his country’s endorsement of a treaty prohibiting new fossil fuel exploration projects globally, aligning with the bloc’s mission to complement the Paris Agreement through a just transition away from coal, oil, and gas.

Colombia’s announcement follows Palau’s recent endorsement, propelling the coalition to ten nations across four continents supporting the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. With formal backing from the European Parliament, the World Health Organization, and 100 global cities and subnational governments, the proposal gains momentum as a critical response to the escalating impacts of climate change.

President Ramos of Timor-Leste emphasized the need for international cooperation and financial support from wealthier nations to ensure a just global energy transition. Colombia’s pivotal decision, timed amid the intensifying effects of climate change, resonates with the consensus among IPCC, IEA, and UNEP that ending the fossil fuel era is paramount to limit global warming and avert irreversible damage.

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
Colombian President Gustavo Petro

Prime Minister Browne of Antigua and Barbuda welcomed Colombia’s inclusion, stating that the Caribbean islands are already witnessing the devastating effects of climate change. He sees Colombia’s participation as a crucial step towards a future liberated from oil, gas, and coal.

Tuvalu’s Prime Minister Natano praised Colombia’s commitment, urging countries of the Global North to join the growing Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty coalition dedicated to negotiating a treaty for a just global transition away from fossil fuels. In the face of climate chaos, this unified global effort stands as our collective responsibility, solidarity, and pursuit of justice.

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