Thursday, June 8, 2023

Austin Becomes First in Texas to Endorse Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty


Item 43, sponsored by District 2 Austin City Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes, strengthens the City of Austin’s commitment to sustainable communities, while urging the Federal Government to transition away from fossil fuels.

On Thursday, June 8th, 2023, Austin City Council passed a resolution endorsing the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, calling for full phase-out of global fossil fuels. This treaty strengthens the City of Austin’s commitment to stopping its expansion of fossil fuel production, phasing out existing fossil fuel projects, and prioritizing a just energy transition.
With this resolution, the City of Austin has become the first city in Texas, and the 85th city/subnational government in the world to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty - joining the likes of Los Angeles (CA), Bethlehem (NY), and others.
Item 43 is Sponsored by Councilwoman Fuentes and co-sponsored by Councilmembers José ''Chito'' Vela (D4), José Velásquez (D3), Zohaib ''Zo'' Qadri (D9), and Leslie Pool (D7).
View relevant media & photos here
“Opinion: Austin Can and Should Lead on Climate Again”, by Austin Council Member Vanessa Fuentes and Alberta Phillips -The Austin American Statesman
Statements and Comments
Councilwoman Vanessa FuentesDistrict 2, sponsor: “Cities have a responsibility to address and mitigate the environmental, social, and economic harms associated with climate change. That's why the City of Austin proudly supports the Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty, and joins the call for a global effort to accelerate a just transition to clean energy for all.”
Temo TorenTexas Campaign for the Environment“As a grassroots organizer for climate Justice, my work has really opened my eyes to how vast the scale of a clean energy economy will be. I’m inspired by the continued support from Austin City Council on taking meaningful climate action and I look forward to the job opportunities that we can create for overlooked working class communities. I’m so glad to see a fossil fuel treaty endorsed by the city because we need a global commitment to phase out dirty energy. Especially because clean energy is not prone to the explosive risks of fossil fuels that pollute our Texas communities.”
Amber MillsMOVE Texas: “The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing young people. We need to take bold stances in recognition of the gravity of the problem and Austin has a chance to lead the way. A key first step is unabashedly committing to a sustainable energy future where fossil fuels are a relic of the past. By halting new fossil fuel infrastructure, we are showing care for our planet and our collective health.”
Councilmember Leslie PoolDistrict 7, co-sponsor: "Each time we take one step forward on climate change, the fossil fuel industry takes us two steps back, with the blessing of lawmakers and higher courts. Yet I am hopeful that our work - and the work of future generations - will lead us to a world powered by clean energy."
Councilmember Zo QadriDistrict 9, co-sponsor: “The catastrophic Canadian wildfires blanketing the East Coast under a fog of harmful smoke this week should be just as much of a wake-up call as the unprecedented winter storms and historic heat waves that have hit Central Texas in recent years. Climate change is happening now, and we are running out of time to avoid the worst-case scenarios. For the sake of our planet and of future generations, we need urgent federal lawmakers to rise to the urgency of this crisis and take drastic action to pull us back from the brink of disaster.”