Kathmandu – The small town of Dhulikhel, located on the Eastern rim of Kathmandu Valley of Nepal, endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty today, becoming the first city in Global South and South Asia to do so. The endorsement comes just weeks before the climate summit in Glasgow where 196 countries will revisit their progress toward meeting Paris Agreement commitments.
Dhulikhel joins a growing number of communities across the globe calling for a phase out of fossil fuel production in a manner that is fair and fast. These include Los Angeles, Barcelona and Sydney who have also endorsed the Treaty.
Mr. Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha, the mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality, announced: “Dhulikhel Municipality endorses the Fossil Fuel Treaty initiative. Though Dhulikhel Municipality is small in size, its contribution and initiatives can encourage other big cities and countries to also endorse the initiative and move on a greener path. We are fully committed to make Dhulikhel an environmentally-friendly city by limiting net GHG emissions to zero and are determined to make our policy and programs fully aligned with the spirit of the Fossil Fuel Treaty in the days ahead.”
Dhulikhel, which means “place where tigers play” in Nepali, is famed for its panoramic views of the snowfed Himalayan mountains and sits along Nepal’s trekking circuit. For centuries, it has been an important trading centre on the commercial route linking Nepal and Tibet and is now surrounded by six World Heritage sites.
Sanjay Vashist of Climate Action Network said: “Dhulikhel’s endorsement of the Fossil Fuel Treaty reiterates the commitment of this small town to engage head on with the biggest crisis facing the world. Climate change and its impacts are no longer in the distant future and we need climate action now that goes beyond rhetoric and is based on actions to eliminate fossil fuels and ensure just and equitable transition to clean energy and green jobs.”
Lalmani Wagle, Program Coordinator, Clean Energy Nepal noted:“We wasted our past three decades doing nothing except making and breaking commitments and letting countries like Nepal and cities like Dhulikhel suffer from the climate crisis. The commitment of Dhulikhel for thisendorsement and pursuing carbon neutrality should not judged by the city’s size and quantity of emissions reduction but be taken as an inspiration. If this small city from a least developed country like Nepal, which has negligible GHG emissions contribution can have a resolution of carbon neutrality, then why can’t so-called developed cities and countries stop burning dirty fuels? I congratulate Dhulikhel Municipality and the leadership for being a role model, the first city not only in Nepal but also in South Asia to endorse the FFT campaign and commit to being acarbon neutral city.”
The Global North is responsible for 92% of excess emissions, meaning these wealthy countries need to lead the way by sharing the benefits and burdens of transition with poorer nations, workers, and fossil-fuel-dependent communities. For the world to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, climate action must be based on countries’ fair share of expected climate action, their historical contribution to climate change and their capacity to act in order to curb environmental consequences and prevent economic disruption.
Tzeporah Berman, Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and International Program Director at Stand.Earth, said: “We are so excited Dhulikhel has endorsed the Fossil Fuel Treaty and encourage other cities in Asia to join us as well. We need a new Treaty if we are going to stop the overproduction of fossil fuels that threatens all of our health and a stable climate. Cities can have a huge influence calling on Federal governments to ensure international cooperation and new agreements to stop the expansion of fossil fuels.”
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is critically needed as a complement to the Paris Accord to hold governments and the fossil fuel industry accountable for emissions from the production of fossil fuels. As it stands, national governments plan to expand fossil fuels at levels that would result in 120 percent more emissions than what is in keeping with the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.
The Treaty has also gained endorsements from more than 2,000 scientists and thousands of organizations and individuals globally including David Suzuki, Third World Network, Indigenous Environmental Network, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Friends of the Earth International, Health Care Without Harm, ActionAid and more.
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative is spurring international cooperation to end new development of fossil fuels, phase out existing production within the agreed climate limit of 1.5°C and develop plans to support workers, communities and countries dependent on fossil fuels to create secure and healthy livelihoods. Cities such as Los Angeles, Sydney, Toronto and Barcelona have already endorsed the Treaty with more considering motions to endorse. Over 750 civil society organisations, 2,100+ scientists and academics and 101 Nobel Laureates including the Dalai Lama have also endorsed the three pillars of the proposed Treaty.