In historic milestone, 100 cities call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty at COP28

01 December 2023 - In an unprecedented event at COP28 in Dubai, for the first time 100 cities and subnational governments come together to call on national leaders to negotiate a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. From Paris to Lima, Kolkata to Sydney, London to Port-au-Prince, California to Rome, and Vancouver to Belém, together these cities are building collective pressure from the bottom to influence governments around the world to negotiate a Fossil Fuel Treaty and transition away from oil, gas and coal. 

The event gathered government representatives from some of the most prominent cities that are championing the call for a Fossil Fuel Treaty: Mayor of Belém, Edmilson Rodrigues, Mayor of Hobart, Anna Reynolds, and Deputy Mayor of Paris, Dan Lert. They discussed the importance of cities supporting the momentum for the campaign, and how other local governments can join.

Anna Reynolds, Lord Mayor of Hobart, Tasmania: “Cities are leading the way on climate action. Thousands of cities around the world have set ambitious targets and are slashing emissions, often well beyond what national governments are doing. But our positive efforts are undermined by those countries and companies that are expanding fossil fuel production. My nation, Australia produces nearly twice the amount of fossil fuels that COP28 host, the UAE, does. And we export nearly three times’ as much fossil fuels as they do! As city leaders we need to join the campaign to rapidly phase out fossil fuels. Our voices and our leadership are needed to tackle the major cause of the climate crisis.

Mayor Anna Reynolds is also part of the board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, organisation that represents more than 12,500 cities and local governments worldwide, and has been instrumental in the launch of the Mayors Declaration for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The city of Paris was one of the first to endorse the call for a Treaty, in 2022. As the host city of the historic Paris climate talks, COP21, the city’s role in championing the need for a proposed international mechanism to complement the Paris Agreement, equitably phase out fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy for all is key.

Dan Lert, Deputy Mayor of Paris: “Cities and local communities are on the frontline of climate change impacts. Yet fossil fuel investments continue to rise. Governments' inaction is unacceptable, Paris joined the Treaty initiative coalition and calls for ending support for oil, gas and coal, so we leave fossil fuels in the ground once for all!

Also in 2022, Belém became the first Brazilian city and the first Amazonian city to back the Fossil Fuel Treaty and to call for the Amazon to become a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Zone. In 2025, they will take this call to the international stage as the hosts of COP30.

Edmilson Rodrigues, Mayor of Belém: “Our country, Brazil, has a tropical climate. In the Amazon, bathed in sunlight for 12 hours a day, the use of clean energy is our present and future. Belém, as an Amazonian synthesis, advocates for a territory free from the exploitation of fossil fuels. We are a city of islands, bathed by rivers. Therefore, we stand in solidarity with our sister islands of Tuvalu and Vanuatu. There is an urgent need to create a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Katja Dörner, Mayor of Bonn and ICLEI Co Chair Climate Action: “Bonn is a city on the path towards climate neutrality in 2035 - and home to the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, along with a dense cluster of other climate key players, including the Climate Action Network and many of its members. Fossil fuels and a green climate future exclude each other – this is why we have proudly joined the Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty as the first city in Germany. I am amazed to count 100 cities and regions on our side – and I am sure this number will continue to grow. The century of urbanisation also must become the century putting an end to the practice of the harmful exploitation and polluting use of fossil fuels.”

Seble Samuel, Head of Africa Campaigns & Advocacy at the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty: "In the pursuit of an equitable fossil free future, cities and subnational governments play a critical role as architects of change. Harnessing their collective power, this historic demand from 100 city and subnational leaders for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a resounding call that world leaders must follow. A Fossil Fuel Treaty is a collective commitment to forge a just transition away from the grip of oil, gas and coal."