October 23, 2021, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

FFNPT: a new tool for hard and fast climate change action

The Nepal Weekly
September 28, 2021

Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) movement was launched as a global initiative in September last year by a coalition of academics, lawyers and activists. It’s modelled on the landmark UN Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons agreed in the 1960s, and is built around the same three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use.

The fossil fuel treaty would prevent new exploration and production, phase out existing stockpiles, fast track the transfer of clean energy to poorer nations, enable a just transition for workers and communities, and support economic diversification in countries still dependent on fossil fuels.

According to the UN’s latest Production Gap report, published in December, the world will need to cut fossil fuel production by about 6% per year between 2020 and 2030 to meet the maximum 1.5C temperature rise aimed for by the Paris Agreement. But countries are instead planning an average annual increase of 2%, the report states.

This year, for the first time, big oil producers like Shell and BP acknowledged that peak oil demand has come and gone – in late 2019. This marks a turnaround from their predictions last year when they still believed that demand for fossil fuels would continue to rise over the decade, a shift largely forced by the coronavirus pandemic rather than policy.

Although the ultimate aim would be for national governments to sign the FFNPT, the committee is currently targeting sub-national jurisdictions. The City of Vancouver is the first public authority to endorse it, and New York and Los Angeles may soon follow.

Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) concept is modelled on the landmark UN treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons agreed in the 1970s, and is built around the same three pillars. This campaign calls for similar global cooperation and action to phase out the extraction and use of fossil fuels.

FFNPT is a global initiative to phase out fossil fuels and support a just transition. This treaty rest in three pillars, they are Ending Fossil Fuel Expansion, Phasing out Existing Production and managing a global Just transition. The major objective of campaign is to grow the global movement for a just energy transition by centering equity demands and analysis and leading the solutions. Also, it motivates cities and states to endorse the treaty and phase out coal, oil and gas in their local area. Till date 14 Cities and Sub-National Governments, 132,737 Individuals 1,800+ scientists, Academics, and researchers on this open letter and 700+ Organization’s has endorsed the treaty.

Nepal is highly dependent on fossil fuels for energy source and imports almost 100% of required fossil fuel from neighbouring countries. Nepal’s vulnerability to climate change and to support the global agenda to limit the 1.5 degree Celsius temperature the share of renewal energy sources need to be largely increased. Nepal brings huge potential in terms of renewable energy especially hydroelectricity, solar power and wind power. Ending the use of fossil fuels not only reduces the air pollution but also decreases national fuel economy and increase gross GDP. Also, it provides us opportunity to be a role model through energy transition to renewable energy.

Clean Energy Nepal is encouraging 4 local bodies of Nepal i.e. Dhulikhel Municipality, Lalitpur Metropolitan City, Itahari-Sub Metropolitan City and Pokhara Metropolitan City to endorse FFNPT. In this regard, Clean Energy organised an opinion building interaction programme with the title “Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (FFNPT): Opportunity for shifting cities’ energy base towards renewable” was organised recently in Lalitpur.The programme was participated in by a number of intellectual personalities representing various climate change, environment and air-pollution sectors participated. The experts highlighted need of activities and CSOs to work hand in hand.

In the global context, a number of movements to reduce climate change activities are brought into effect. Among them are 100% Renewable Energy and Net Zero Emission. The report issued on August 9 by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates the fossil fuels are the major cause of climate change effects. The report strongly warns the world community to act seriously and immediately.

The endeavour to use 100% renewable energy for electricity, heating/cooling and transport is motivated by climate change, pollution and other environmental issues, as well as economic and energy security concerns. Shifting the total global primary energy supply to renewable sources requires a transition of the energy system, since most of today’s energy is derived from non-renewable fossil fuels. 100% renewable energy in a country is typically a more challenging goal than carbon neutrality.

Similarly, Net zero emission refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.

The upcoming Conference of Parties commonly called COP26 to be held in Glasgow, Uk in November is highly expected event for steps to climate change reduction to formulate frameworks with financial contribution of developed countries who are labelled as big polluters as well.

Countries which facing different or similar effects of climate change will be benefitted if the COP26 successfully discuss on Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty (FFNPT) and establish as an effective instrument to check the ‘Codered for humanity’ as described by IPCC recently. (By R. P. Narayan)