A group of 40 climate, energy, and social justice NGOs is urging the Trudeau government to sign on to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT).
The letter organized by Toronto-based ClimateFast and MobilizeTO calls on Ottawa to endorse the treaty ahead of the COP 27 climate summit next month in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
“Now, with growing climatic impacts and restrictions on oil supply being used as leverage by foreign governments, the transition to non-carbon energy sources has never been more urgent,” the letter states [pdf]. “The voices of Canadians demanding action on the climate crisis is growing louder, as attested by the exponential increase of support for the FFNPT at municipal levels,” but “we are running out of time for an effective collaboration to globally prevent a climate disaster.”
The letter hit the inboxes of four federal cabinet ministers after the island nation of Vanuatu became the first national government to endorse the FFNPT, and the day before Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta spoke out in its favour. Toronto voted to back the treaty in July, 2021.
“Why would I, as president of a fossil-fuel-producing country just north of Australia, support such a treaty?” Ramos-Horta asked, in an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald. “The reason is simple. While threatening our planet’s health, fossil fuel production also delays a more equitable distribution of wealth globally.”
Ramos-Horta, the first head of state from a fossil-producing country to endorse the FFNPT, added that his country could make the transition to a renewable energy economy for US$100 billion, about one-sixteenth the lifetime cost of Australia’s fighter jet program.
“I, for one, would be happy if my country never had to expand its fossil fuel industry. But at this time, we remain almost completely dependent on oil and gas revenue, stuck in a system imposed by wealthy nations,” he wrote. “I would be happy to leave it in the ground, but if we did, we would forego our sovereign development benefits.