FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2023
Media Contact: BJ McManama
Turtle Island, Sacramento, CA– In the late morning of Friday, September 1, 2023, the state of California officially endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty in today’s California State Assembly, passing with a majority vote of 43-13. Earlier this year in May 2023, the California State Senate approved this fossil fuel phase-out resolution prior to making its way for the final vote.
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative is a global effort to foster international cooperation to accelerate a transition to clean energy for everyone, end the expansion of coal, oil and gas, and equitably phase out existing production in keeping with what science shows is needed to address the climate crisis. It builds on decades of calls and campaigns for a fossil fuel phase out and fair energy transition. Furthermore, the Treaty facilitates a rapid, coordinated, transparent, and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.
California has become the largest economy worldwide to endorse the treaty, and commit to a fair phase out of fossil fuels by fast tracking the adoption of clean energy and economic diversification away from fossil fuels.
The Indigenous Environmental Network is a steering committee member and endorser for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. We join other Indigenous and frontline communities, civil society leaders, youth, academics, experts and supporters of this international campaign and movement to end the expansion of coal, oil and gas production by fairly phasing out existing fossil fuel production, and fast track the adoption of clean energy.
“Indigenous Peoples in the state of California have witnessed firsthand the destruction of their ancestral lands and territories from the fossil fuels industries, and the extraction, processing, transportation, and consumption of fossil fuels has immensely impacted our lands, waters, air and the well being of all living things on Mother Earth. This year alone, we have endured major storms, including a hurricane and wildfires that have ravaged across our lands. As a signatory to the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, California must advance quickly and equitably to ending fossil fuel and restore balance to our ancestral territories. As the state of California positions itself to be the fourth largest economy in the world overtaking Germany, this means California also holds the fourth largest responsibility to climate change and global warming.” Thomas Joseph (Hupa, Karuk, Paiute-Shoshone), IEN Carbon Pricing Educator.
Brenna TwoBears (Diné, Hočak, Standing Rock Lakota), IEN Keep it in the Ground Lead Coordinator shares, “The end of the fossil fuel era is here. Our brothers and sisters in the small island states knew it, 43 members of the California State Assembly knew it, and soon leaders across the world will know it. A Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty begins the changes needed to pivot to an equitable and Just Transition, that’s not rooted in colonization and extends or justifies the continued exploitation by extraction on Mother Earth. While Indigenous Peoples and frontline communities face devastating hurricanes and wildfires, the fossil fuel industry scrambles for more money and power. Millions across Turtle Island and the world won’t stand for it any longer.”
This Treaty is more than a declaration to end the sources, uses, and waste streams coming from all carbon-based fuels that continue to poison and overburden all natural life-sustaining systems on Mother Earth. Ninety percent of the CO2 emitted yearly is taken up and is warming oceans to unsustainable temperatures. Carbon based fuels are the feedstock for highly toxic agricultural chemicals that have contributed to a dead zone caused by nitrogen and phosphorus overload in the Gulf of Mexico, others are point-source for loss of pollinators and soil health, along with human cancers and autoimmune disorders.
The framework for the Treaty is founded on the necessity and urgency we all feel and see for ourselves. Adding California to the growing list of governments, organizations, and individuals who have tirelessly promoted and carried this treaty forward for half a decade or more is a giant step forward to keep fossil fuels in the ground and turn to an Indigenous Just Transition.
“This decision of the State of California is a commitment to take down the single biggest contributor to the climate crisis: the fossil fuel industry. California joins the millions of voices across Turtle Island and Mother Earth calling on Biden to follow in the footsteps of our Pacific Island brothers and sisters from the small Island states and negotiate a mandate for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. As the state with the highest population of Indigenous Peoples in the country, it is important to pass legislation that would put a halt to the devastation and destruction of the compounding effects of climate change caused by fossil fuels.” – Tom BK Goldtooth (Diné/ Dakota), Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network.
For more information and to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, visit https://fossilfueltreaty.org.