For the first time, a capital city in Central Europe has joined the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The city in question is Warsaw, the capital of Poland. On 20 January 2023, the Polish town joined the group of more than 70 other cities in the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Warsaw’s accession to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is also a signal to climate movements. A commitment to climate justice and collective pressure on the authorities makes sense. Even general declarations give us a basis to demand more concrete steps in the future.
Dominika Lasota, Fridays For Future climate justice activist from the Inicjatywa “Wschód”
What is the Fossil-fuel Non-proliferation Treaty?
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is an international climate policy proposal to create a new treaty to manage a just global transition away from fossil fuels. It is meant to complement the Paris Agreement and is inspired by similar treaties, such as those on landmines and nuclear weapons.
📢 BREAKING NEWS 📢
"The capital of "Coalland", as Poland is known internationally, is joining the anti-fossil fuel movement." 🇵🇱
— Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative (@fossiltreaty) January 23, 2023
The proposal’s three main pillars are non-proliferation with a stop to new exploration and production, a fair phase-out with wealthy countries with historical responsibility for climate change transitioning fastest, and a peaceful transition that leaves no worker or country behind.
In addition to Warsaw and the other cities, governments and subnational governments have already endorsed the treaty, along with WHO and health institutions, parliamentarians, 101 Nobel Laureates, Civil Society organizations, academics and scientists, Fairchild institutions, youth leaders, and individuals.
The role of cities in achieving climate neutrality is crucial. Warsaw City Council’s support for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative is an important signal that we have a consensus in the city on a course of action. But we cannot stop at declarations. Warsaw still doesn’t have an official greenhouse gas reduction target formalised in a city document, and the unofficial one – a 40% reduction by 2030 – won’t be met with the current trend of declining emissions.
Marek Szolc, Member of the Warsaw City Council
The significance of Warsaw’s endorsement
Other cities in the continent have endorsed the treaty. Barcelona was the first in Europe to do so in January 2021 and the second in the world to support after Vancouver, Canada. Warsaw is the first Polish city and the first Central European capital to join in calling for an end to fossil fuels and a fair transition.
Momentum behind this treaty is undoubtedly growing rapidly and it’s promising to see a capital city like Warsaw join. We hope this leadership is a signal for the capital to inspire the country to secure its energy independence via a path of a fair and just energy transition.
Seble Samuel, Cities Lead for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty campaign