FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - JUNE 12, 2021 UPDATED
JUNE 14 at 7 PM ZOOM: https://bit.ly/2TBN7Sj
ENDORSE AN END TO FOSSIL FUELS, CLIMATE GROUPS URGE TORONTO
A coalition of local climate organizations is urging Toronto City Council to endorse a global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty next month.
The treaty initiative calls for an end to new oil, gas, and coal projects and a just, practical transition to a low-carbon economy. The groups are looking for support from Canada’s largest city in time to press the federal government to support a treaty at this year’s United Nations climate change conference, COP 26, in November.
“Our aim is to have Toronto council endorse the treaty” said ClimateFast member Lyn Adamson. “We need bold action to achieve the 7% cuts each and every year this decade that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for. We must accelerate our actions to achieve these cuts.”
“We are seeking the Mayor’s support for this initiative,” said Chloe Tse, a member of Fridays4FutureTO. “Toronto youth want a future free of fossil fuels. We deserve and need a livable climate, and this treaty will help us get there.”
“A move by Toronto to endorse the Treaty would be in step with the declaration of a climate emergency in 2019.” Said Angela Orellana-Schwalm of MobilizeTO. “Fossil fuels are the main cause of the climate crisis; more than 75% of CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels. Yet, no agreements exist to address the production of fossil fuels or the industry’s planned expansion. The Treaty would provide the missing mechanism to address fossil fuels head on.”
Based on experience with similar multinational treaty efforts, such as the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, this proposal will need a groundswell of community support around the world to gain traction with governments and diplomats. Like the nuclear weapons ban, the fossil fuel treaty calls for international cooperation in three main areas:
- Non-Proliferation– Ending all new exploration and production of fossil fuels
- Global Disarmament– Phasing out existing stockpiles in line with the 1.5ºC target in the 2015 Paris climate agreement
- A Peaceful Transition – A just transition for every worker, community and country that depends on the fossil fuel economy.
Speakers at the June 14 launch include Vancouver City Councillor Christine Boyle. Vancouver was the first city in the world to endorse the Treaty initiative, now joined by Barcelona, Los Angeles, and the Australian Capital Territory. Other speakers:
- Tzeporah Berman and Seble Samuel from the International Campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
- Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada
- Chloe Tse, Spokesperson, Fridays4FutureTO
- Steve Shallhorn, Labour Education Centre
- Julia Levin, Environmental Defence, on fossil fuel subsidies
- Sabaa Khan, David Suzuki Foundation
- Christine Boyle, Vancouver City Councillor
- Mike Layton, Toronto City Councillor
- Lyn Adamson, Co-Founder, ClimateFast
The concept of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is gaining support around the world. Cities such as Los Angeles, Vancouver and Barcelona have already endorsed the Treaty with many more considering motions to endorse. Hundreds of organizations representing thousands more individuals join the call for world leaders to stop fossil fuel expansion alongside 1200+ scientists and 101 Nobel Laureates.