Colombia is the first Latin American Country to join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

Colombia is now one of ten countries calling for an end to the expansion of fossil fuels.
December 5, 2023

What is the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty?

‘Non-proliferation’ means the prevention of an increase or spread of something.

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty took inspiration from the successes of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which was entered into force in 1970. 191 States have joined the NPT, including five nuclear weapons States. The NPT is the most widely adhered to treaty in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.[i]

The three pillars of the proposed Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty are:

1. Non-proliferation- Stop building out the problem by ending the expansion of coal, oil, and gas production.

2. A fair phase out- An equitable plan for the wind down of existing fossil fuel production, where nations with the capacity and historical responsibility for emissions transition fastest, providing support to others around the world.

3. Just transition- Fast track the adoption of clean energy and economic diversification away from fossil fuels so that no worker, community, or country is left behind.[ii]

Colombia is the tenth country to join the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

The other countries are Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Niue, Antigua and Barbuda, Timor-Leste, and Palau.[iii] Palau joined the bloc just 24 hours before Colombia.[iv]

However, Colombia has significant coal, oil, and gas reserves. Colombia is only the second member of the group that is a fossil fuel producer, following Timor-Leste.[v] 

Gustavo Petro, President of Colombia said,


“It is a paradox that at this table, together with populations that could disappear, there is a country like us, which also depends on oil, and which is committed to endorsing a treaty that implies zero new exploration projects in the world. My own society would say ‘how would the President produce such economic suicide?’, given that we depend on oil and coal. But this is not economic suicide We are talking here about an ‘omnicide’, the risk of extinction of life on the planet. Here we are avoiding ‘omnicide’ on planet Earth. There is no other way, the rest are illusions. There is a very powerful economic power around oil, coal, and gas. And they act to prevent changes. To maintain, in a suicidal way, their possibilities for more years of profit in the short term. Today we face an immense confrontation between fossil capital and human life. And we must choose a side. Any human being knows that we must choose life. I have no doubt which position to take: between fossil capital and life, we choose the side of life.”[vi]



[i] IAEA- The IAEA and the Non-Proliferation Treaty

[ii] Fossil Fuel Treaty- A growing bloc of nation states are joining forces at COP28 to begin to seek a negotiating mandate for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

[iii] Ibid

[iv] Fossil Fuel Treaty- At Cop28, Colombia joins call for Fossil Fuel Treaty, strengthening international climate leadership

[v] The Guardian- Colombia joins international alliance calling for treaty to end use of fossil fuels

[vi] Fossil Fuel Treaty- At Cop28, Colombia joins call for Fossil Fuel Treaty, strengthening international climate leadership

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Gemma Drake
Research Analyst

Gemma recently graduated with a degree in International Development. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainable Urbanism, which examines urban planning and urban design through a sustainability lens. “I’m passionate about addressing sustainability challenges in a holistic and pragmatic way. Zero Carbon Academy's diverse range of services targets many of the areas that need support if we are to transition to a liveable future. I’m excited to see the impact that the Academy makes.”

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