The motion was proposed by Green Party Councillor Hannah CopleyCambridge Green Party

Cambridge became the first UK city to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a global initiative that calls for international legislation for the phasing out of fossil fuel use and production, in a vote taken on Thursday (21/10) by the city council.

Cambridge city council agreed to commit to the initiative at their latest meeting, after the motion, proposed by Green Party Councillor Hannah Copley, passed with support from Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors at the Guildhall.

Speaking on her endorsement of the initiative, Councillor Copley said: “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was described as ‘a code red for humanity’ by the Secretary General of the United Nations and we cannot fail to listen to this stark warning.”

The proposal for a treaty has been supported by cities from across the world, including Los Angeles, Sydney, Barcelona and Toronto. In the UK, the campaign for the treaty has received support from groups such as Divest Parliament, Friends of the Earth Scotland and the UK Youth Climate Coalition. 

Copley also stated that the “implementation of the proposed global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation treaty is vital. Continuing coal, oil and gas production, and in fact increasing it, is incompatible with a safe or habitable planet.”

The Council also resolved to write to the President for COP26 Alok Sharma to encourage the government to support the proposal for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.  


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In an open letter, 2,185 academics and scientists, including Professor Priyamvada Gopal, Professor Robert Macfarlane, and Baron Rowan Williams of Cambridge University, called on governments across the world to adopt and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Professor Gopal said: “We are in the throes of a climate catastrophe that is not in the future but already unfolding with lethal consequences for millions.”

She emphasised that “our existence on this planet in the very present depends on an equitable but urgent phasing out of fossil fuels in favour of entirely renewable sources”, stressing that “this treaty is a vital step in that direction”.

The council’s vote comes just over a week before representatives from 195 countries meet in Glasgow for COP26 from Sunday (31/10) to Friday 12 November.