Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty passed in California

In recent months, a resolution calling on the State of California to endorse the proposed Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty has gone through several legislative hurdles. Today, the resolution passed in a historic vote by the State Assembly, making California the largest global economy to support the proposal, which is gaining significant momentum across the world and across sectors of society.


In this final vote, the resolution faced big opposition from oil & gas lobbyists and 40 industry groups, who joined forces in an attempt to block it, so that they can continue to expand fossil fuel production in California and reap the profits while the rest of us suffer the consequences. 


But their efforts couldn’t match the strength of those who want to combat the worst threat of our era, and build a more sustainable, just and safe future for Californians and communities all over the world. The proposal was backed by a majority of 43 votes. 


The resolution was introduced by Senate Majority Whip Senator Lena A Gonzalez, and co-sponsored by the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN),, the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative, and SAFE Cities. It explicitly supports a global plan to create the missing framework for managing fossil fuel production, first by stopping expansion and then carefully phasing out coal, oil, and gas in a way that is fair and fast. It also looks to protect the most impacted workers and local government services through this transition to abundant and clean renewable energy.


The resolution has the potential to inject a huge wave of momentum into the global campaign for a Fossil Fuel Treaty and build significant pressure for a fossil fuel phase out in California and also on President Biden. The resolution must also be complemented by urgent policy reforms to stop all new fossil fuel permits, drop existing oil drilling, and roll out health and safety buffers as clearly stated by the powerful Last Chance Alliance.


    1. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirms what science has been saying for decades: a livable planet that avoids worst-case climate change scenarios is only possible if we transition away from fossil fuels. 
    2. Every fraction of a degree matters on a warming planet. California is already experiencing increased air pollution, deforestation, ocean acidification, more wildfires, droughts, heat waves and sea-level rise, which threaten our health, our livelihoods and our future. 
    3. California was an early leader on climate with the passage of its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) that set statewide limits on emissions that has enabled the state to have a growing economy while declining its emissions in the last 15 years since its passage.
    4. California has continued taking on a leading role on climate tackling fossil fuels directly via legislation for a 100% clean electric grid (SB1020) and carbon neutrality (AB1279) in addition to being an early member of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance.
    5. This leadership role at the subnational level is bolstered by its global effort to “walk the talk”, having organized its own Global Climate Action Summit in 2018 and now drafting a resolution (SJR2) to formally endorse the global call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    6. Despite California having introduced a law that bans new drilling near homes and schools, implementation is delayed until next year allowing drilling in the meantime. This is all the more reason for a common framework like the Fossil Fuel Treaty to truly ramp down fossil fuel production.
    7. Diplomatic support for the Fossil Fuel Treaty proposal is surging. A bloc of Pacific nations – Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, Niue and the Solomon Islands – have formally and publicly called for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. They are now pushing to build an alliance globally who can build further momentum and secure a negotiating mandate. 
    8. Already over 80 major cities and subnational governments around the world have also formally endorsed the Fossil Fuel Treaty proposal including the Hawai’i State Legislature, the European Parliament, the Australian Capital Territory and the City of Los Angeles. 
    9. Calls from governments for a Fossil Fuel Treaty are backed by a diverse and global campaign endorsed by the World Health Organisation, 3,000 scientists and academics, 600 parliamentarians from 79 countries globally, 101 Nobel laureates and 2,000 civil society organizations.
    10. These endorsements show a strong shift in recognising fossil fuels and their emissions as a primary threat to our water, health, biodiversity and ability to provide economic and energy security. Already, extracting existing fossil fuels reserves alone would result in seven times more emissions than could be safely burned.
    11. The repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic paired with the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on energy prices have created a worry landscape, one that is especially jarring when the fossil fuel industry is making record profits while many households worldwide struggle to afford basic heating, cooling and food needs. We can’t rely on the fossil fuel industry to break business as usual.
    12. The UN Secretary General has recently told the fossil fuel industry “your core product is our core problem. We need a renewables revolution, not a self-destructive fossil fuel resurgence.”
    13. As the largest subnational economy on Earth, California endorsing the Fossil Fuel Treaty would add significant momentum to the proposal on a global level. California can take a leadership role in supporting a just transition away from fossil fuels rather than lose the window of opportunity to ensure a safe climate, healthy economy and sustainable future. Join us in calling for them to stand up to the fossil fuel industry.
    14. As California addresses its domestic oil industry and impacts on frontline communities, the state’s refineries consume 50% of oil exported from one of the most biodiverse regions in the Amazon Basin. We need global solutions like a treaty to tackle the systemic reach of the fossil fuel industry. A just transition that is good for the global community would require California’s call for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty to look beyond its own borders.
    15. While cities and subnational governments can play a critical role in advocating for international cooperation over a fossil fuel phase out, they must also back up these calls with actions to phase out coal, oil and gas production within their own jurisdiction. The push from California for a Fossil Fuel Treaty must also be complemented by urgent policy reforms within their own jurisdiction to:
      1. Stop Issuing Permits for New Fossil Fuel Projects: Halt permitting for any new oil and gas extraction, fossil fuel infrastructure, or petrochemical projects in California.
      2. Drop Existing Oil Production: set California on a path to drop existing oil production in line with the Paris climate goals, with a just and equitable transition that protects workers, communities, and economies.
      3. Roll Out a 3,200 Foot Health and Safety Buffer: dissolve oil production in communities by creating a 3,200-foot health and safety buffer between fossil-fuel infrastructure and homes, schools, and other sensitive sites.
  • These demands have been backed by the Last Chance Alliance, an alliance of more than 900 public health, environmental justice, climate, and labor organizations.


Pledge Your Vote Now
Change language