Press release: Cambridge poised to become first UK council to back Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

20 October 2021

Cambridge is poised to take the lead in the fight to halt expansion of fossil fuel use.

Cambridge City Councillors will vote tomorrow (Thursday October 21) on a motion proposed by Hannah Copley, Green Party representative for the Abbey ward, that aims to make the city the first UK local authority to endorse calls for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Cllr Copley says: “We need to negotiate an international treaty to tackle the climate crisis at its source: fossil fuels.

"We must end, as a matter of urgency, investment and development of fossil fuel infrastructure, and ongoing growth in fossil fuel use.

“We must do all we can to limit global warming to the only safe agreed limit - 1.5 degrees.

“I hope and believe my fellow councillors will support the motion and demonstrate that Cambridge has the political will, as well as the scientific expertise, to lead the way and set an example for local authorities across the nation.”

Cllr Copley’s motion calls upon Cambridge City Council to:

  • Affirm their ongoing commitment to the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global heating to 1.5°C.
  • Endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, involving the end of new fossil fuel exploration and expansion, equitably phasing out existing production in line with the global commitment to limit warming to 1.5°C, and accelerating just energy transition plans.
  • Write to Alok Sharma MP, President for COP26 and the Prime Minister, urging them to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

If the motion is passed, Cambridge will align itself with other leading cities, including Barcelona, Toronto, Los Angeles and Sydney, that have backed the campaign for a treaty.

It is estimated that global governments and the fossil fuel industry are currently planning to overshoot the remaining carbon budget (that would avert catastrophic climate disruption by limiting global heating to 1.5°C) by 120% by the year 2030.

A recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) report states that the fossil fuel industry is subsidised at the rate of $11 million / minute.

The Green Party says national governments and global organisations should focus urgently on delivering renewable energy for all, not subsidising or even expanding polluting industries that are killing the planet.

Cllr Copley added: “In Cambridge we have only six years of our current usage left until we reach our fair share of emissions to limit us to 1.5 degrees of warming.

“The industry has plans to continue expansion, including in the UK with the Cambo oil field, when we should be devoting all our energy to alternatives that would bring green jobs, liveable towns and thriving nature.”

Image: Cllrs Hannah Copley and Naomi Bennett with Green members

Cllrs Hannah and Naomi with Green members holding a banner saying 'stop funding fossil fuels' 

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