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Stockholm+50: UN acknowledges that fossil fuels are a threat to humanity

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, released the latest iteration of its draft text that will form the basis of the final Chair’s summary of the Stockholm+50 summit.

Fossil fuel pollution
Fossil fuel pollution from a coal power station

The event will be held From June 2 to3 to reflect on the successes and shortcomings of international environmental governance over the last half-century.

Despite important steps over the last 50 years, the impression is that world remains dangerously off track to achieve a healthy planet for the prosperity of all.

“We are facing the triple environmental crises – climate, extinction, and pollution crises – while inequality deepens, and our democratic institutions are under threat. At the source of this triple crisis is the extraction and production of fossil fuels – a system which undermines every single Sustainable Development Goal, the focus of Stockholm+50,” said the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

For the first time, the text includes strong references to fossil fuels, which identifies:

  • that fossil fuels are the primary driver of climate change, and undermine health, the environment and wellbeing.
  • that fossil fuels need to be phased out equitably, in line with 1.5C
  • that there must be a plan for a global just transition from fossil fuels, including finance from wealthy countries to support fossil fuel dependent developing countries to transition
  • that the UN system should initiate the phase out and just transition from fossil fuels through “multilateral processes”.

“This new language for the first time acknowledges the threat that fossil fuels pose to humanity and the need for a solution like the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, an initiative working towards the adoption of a new international mechanism that defines a plan for a fair fossil fuel phase-out.”

According to the group, the challenge now is to ensure that these clear references to the need to end fossil fuels remain in the final text of Stockholm+50 conference and are strengthened to make clear the need for global governance and leadership from governments around the world, including financial commitments from wealthy countries to support fossil fuel dependent developing countries.

“To this end, the Treaty Initiative and its allies – from both civil society and international institutions – will continue to put pressure on governments to cooperate and finally commit to the urgent transition away from fossil fuels. It is a critical moment to build formal political support behind the proposed Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

On Wednesday at the The Stockholm+50 Pre-Summit on the Global Just Transition from Fossil Fuels – an official associated event to Stockholm+50, hosted by the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative in partnership with the Stanley Center for Peace and Security, and the Nordic Council – the 40 speakers from more than 25 countries will call on governments to work together in order to manage a global just transition away from fossil fuels.

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