UCC formally calls for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

University College Cork (UCC) has become the first Irish University to formally support the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a global initiative that aims to accelerate and manage the end of the fossil fuel industry by expediting an equitable phase-out of oil, gas and coal, and a just transition towards safer and cleaner energy sources.

Fossil fuels account for 64% of global greenhouse gas emissions and as COP28 comes to a close today Tuesday, 12 December, the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is being actively debated.

The initiative was launched by a group of Pacific island nations and calls for a binding global plan to end new expansion of fossil fuel production, the phase out of existing production of fossil fuels in a manner that is fair and equitable and to support fossil fuel-dependent economies to diversify away from fossil fuels in a just transition.

It has gained support from the World Health Organizationthe European Parliament101 Nobel Laureates600+ parliamentarians in 83 countries, 2,100 civil society organisations3,000 scientists and academics and 100 cities and subnational governments, and 9 Peruvian Indigenous Nations.

UCC’s call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty was proposed from UCC’s student body, and President of UCC, Professor John O’Halloran. “We cannot let yet another opportunity slip by and today we lend our voice to the call for a global plan to ensure a phasing out of fossil fuels in a fair and equitable just transition.”

Welcoming the announcement, Ali Sheridan, Director of Major Partnerships at the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, said: “We are delighted to have the support of University College Cork for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. Universities and academic institutions have a vital and critical role to play in shaping a world that thrives within planetary limits, and it is commendable to see the commitment of UCC in helping to secure a fossil fuel free future.”

Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir, Associate Vice President of Sustainability at UCC, stated: “It is very timely that we support the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The clear feedback from our UCC delegate team attending COP-28 is that more urgency is needed in order to achieve the necessary levels greenhouse gas emissions reduction to halt the climate breakdown we are experiencing. Climate science is clear on what is needed – to urgently reverse the current growth of fossil fuels globally, followed by rapid and deep reductions. UCC is driving this through our world leading research in energy system decarbonisation, and by meeting our own target to be carbon neutral as an institution by 2040 . Endorsing this Treaty is another way in which we actively support a climate neutral future for all.”