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83 Parliamentarians from 30 nations support climate leadership of new Colombian govt

On the eve of the new president’s inauguration, dozens of Parliamentarians from around the world express their support to President-elect Gustavo Petro, Vice President Francia Márquez, as well as the newly elected legislators

Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez
Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez

A letter from Parliamentarians around the world published on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, appears to a sign of solidarity with the proposal for a managed decrease of fossil fuel dependence promoted by the newly elected Colombian government.

The signatories thank President-elect Petro for his climate leadership and call him an example to follow globally in providing the appropriate policy response to the climate crisis.

“Your proposals on confronting the climate crisis, working for climate justice, and delivering a planned, gradual, and just transition from fossil fuel extraction are a welcomed example of the kind of leadership the world needs today,” the letter reads in part.

Charles Santiago, Member of Parliament of Malaysia, one of the letter’s signatories and initiator of the Parliamentarians’ Call for a Fossil Free Future, said: “The proposals of Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez show courage but also common sense. The production of oil, gas and coal has to come to an end in any case because it is the main cause of the climate crisis and of environmental disasters and wars throughout the world, but also because reserves are running out. Petro is not alone in saying that oil and coal have to be left in the ground.

“This is not a unilateral decision; it is about responding appropriately to a global climate and economic crisis. As representatives of millions of people and as a network of Parliamentarians committed to working for a future free of fossil fuels, we are ready to support the new Colombian government and we hope that the new congress will do the same.”

Florencia Lampreabe, Member of Parliament of Argentina, said: “The region is hopeful about the upcoming inauguration of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez. In his victory speech, President-elect Petro called for ‘a transition from the old extractivist economy, which

killed water and life, to a new economy’, under the premises of peace, social justice and environmental justice. In this sense, the call for a just energy transition at the global level – and especially for Latin America – becomes central. As representatives of our people, we must take urgent action in the face of the climate crisis that we are all experiencing.

Therefore, we express our support to the new Colombian government and congress as they begin an auspicious chapter for Colombia, Latin America and the world.”

Saber Chowdhury, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh, also one of the initiators of the Parliamentarians’ Call for a Fossil Free Future, said: “We are the first global network of parliamentarians to demand a future free from oil, gas and coal. We are thus happy to be in solidarity with the efforts of Gustavo Petro, the first President in the history of Colombia to put in place an immediate ban on new licenses for fossil fuel exploration. The challenges will be many for the new administration, as well as for Congress, and we stand fully ready to lend our support to our joint objective for a fossil free, just and sustainable world.”

Support for the proposal of the presidential duo Petro-Marquez is growing throughout the world with expressions of solidarity coming from different sectors; hundreds of civil society leaders, scientists and academics have already declared their support for a Colombia Without Fossil Fuels.

The scientific community has been repeating it for years, from the IPCC to the International Energy Agency, including the UNEP: to keep 1.5 live, the world cannot produce more fossil fuels. The United Nations Secretary General himself, Antonio Guterres, made this clear: “The truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.”

Marie Toussaint, Member of the European Parliament, said: “It is a great hope that has been raised in Colombia by the presidential duo Petro-Marquez. As Parliamentarians from states governed by leaders who remain locked into fossil fuels and the ideology of growth, we can only send one message to the new Colombian government: we will continue to fight, at home, to get out of fossil fuels and we are at your disposal to accompany all the initiatives, difficult ones, that you will take to make Colombia a pioneer country in the non-proliferation of fossil fuels!”

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