The world’s governments joined together and signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in the late 1960s out of worry over the spread of a possibly civilization-ending technology.
Now, a weak island nation wants to take similar action against the fossil fuel responsible in the midst of a climatic crisis that threatens to destroy civilization. Tuvalu, an island nation in the Pacific, made history on Tuesday by becoming the first nation to demand a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty at a UN climate conference.
Speaking to world leaders at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Tuvalu Prime Minister Kausea Nagano remarked, “We all know that the primary source of the climate crisis is fossil fuels.” In order to guide our development model toward renewables and a just transition away from fossil fuels, Tuvalu has joined Vanuatu and other countries in asking for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Two Pacific Island nations, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. Nine islands make up the archipelago of Tuvalu, and according to a 2019 report by The Guardian, two of them are already sinking as a result of erosion and rising sea levels.
The rising tides have already salted the soil and groundwater, and the majority of the islands don’t rise higher than three meters (10 feet) above the waves. It might become uninhabitable in 50 to 100 years, according to scientists.
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But the Country Is Not Ready to Quit.
Inches at a time, the warming waters are beginning to engulf our continents. However, the world’s addiction to coal, oil, and gas cannot drown our dreams, Nagano said in a statement obtained by CNBC.
According to the website for the Fossil Fuel Treaty Initiative, Tuvalu’s approach is to demand a treaty that would cooperate with the Paris Agreement to gradually phase out the use of fossil fuels worldwide. The agreement would
- End the expansion of oil, gas, and coal.
- Phase out current fossil fuel production at a pace consistent with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
- Finance a just transition to renewable energy.
According to CNBC, Vanuatu supported the treaty for the first time at the UN General Assembly in September. According to the website for the treaty, it also has strong support from the European Parliament, the Vatican, the World Health Organization, as well as well-known cities including Los Angeles, Paris, London, and Lima.
Additionally, its three recommendations have received support from 1,800 civil society organizations, more than 500 parliamentary leaders, 3,000 scientists, and 101 Nobel laureates. Making the deal a reality will benefit from Tuvalu’s call for it at COP27.
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According to a statement from Tzeporah Berman, chair of the Fossil Fuel Treaty Initiative, Vanuatu and Tuvalu are the first nations to demand a new Treaty as an add-on to the Paris Agreement to align oil, gas, and coal production with a global carbon budget.
The moment of confrontation with overproduction, which is preventing us from bending the curve and locking in additional emissions, will be remembered in history as this.