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Fossil Fuel Treaty rally outside HBC’s offices

HBC endorses call for Fossil Fuel Treaty

On Wednesday 13 July, at Muriel Matters House in Hastings, Hastings Borough Council voted to support the call for an international treaty to phase out fossil fuels (a ‘Fossil Fuel Treaty’) at its Full Council meeting. The vote was passed with two abstentions (Councillors Pragnell and Edwards) and two votes against (Councillors Marlow-Eastwood and Beaney).

 Divest East Sussex reports.

Ninth in the UK!

Hastings becomes the ninth local council in the UK to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Treaty, following a motion tabled by Hastings Borough Councillor Sabina Arthur (Labour, Braybrooke). The vote, which was repeatedly postponed due to covid restrictions, was originally scheduled to take place in December 2021.

“It’s time to make fossil fuels history”,
say campaigners

Burning fossil fuels (oil, coal & gas) is the main driver of climate change. Massive reductions in carbon emissions are needed before 2030 if the world’s governments are to follow through on their stated commitment to hold global warming to ‘well below’ 2ºC, ‘pursuing’ 1.5ºC.

A Fossil Fuel Treaty would be an agreement to end all new fossil fuel exploration and production, phase out existing stockpiles of fossil fuels in line with 1.5ºC, and fast-track a just and peaceful transition to safer and cleaner alternatives. The idea has already been endorsed by over 100 Nobel laureates, as well as scores of cities and sub-national governments, including the City of London and Lewes Town Council. Brighton & Hove City Council agreed a similar motion at its Full Council meeting in February.

Last year, a report from the Stockholm Environment Institute found that the ‘the world’s governments plan to produce more than twice the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C’. In April the UN Secretary-General, described investing in new fossil fuels as ‘moral and economic madness.’ Yet, the UK Government is planning to launch another licensing round for North Sea oil and gas projects in the autumn.

Councillor Arthur’s motion noted that: ‘Climate change is threatening hundreds of millions of lives, livelihoods across every continent and is putting thousands of species at risk. The burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – is by far the major contributor to climate change and is responsible for almost 80% of carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution. In addition to being the leading source of emissions, there are local pollution, environmental and health costs associated with extracting, refining, transporting and burning fossil fuels. These costs are often paid by Indigenous peoples of the Global South as well as marginalised communities here in the UK. Hastings is one of the most deprived towns in the country, residents are forced to spend an ever-increasing proportion of their income meeting the exponentially rising costs of energy. Standards of living and health are directly impacted. It is not sustainable to continue to extract and globally transport fossil fuels when genuinely sustainable methods of production may exist locally to meet demand.’

A spokesperson for Divest East Sussex said: ‘If we’re going to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change then we need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels. Yet governments are still planning to produce vastly more fossil fuels than can ever be safely burned. An internationally agreed Fossil Fuel Treaty could help change this, enabling a just and peaceful transition to a safer and cleaner world. It’s time for a Fossil Fuel Treaty to rapidly phase out fossil fuels and replace them with clean renewable energy for everyone.’

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Posted 11:16 Thursday, Jul 14, 2022 In: Campaigns

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