“All climate reports tell us the same thing: there is no place for fossil fuels in a world where warming is limited to 1.5 degrees,” says Danish climate minister and founder Dan Jர்கrgensen. “The era of fossil fuels will not end until governments decide to do the right thing: phasing out oil and gas production.”
In addition Initiators Denmark and Costa Rica are key members of France, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, Greenland and the Canadian province of Quebec. No new permits will be issued for drilling for oil or gas. The search for new shares in their territory is also prohibited.
Portugal, California and New Zealand together ‘Co-members‘. They go a short distance, but promise ‘significant, concrete measures’ to control oil and gas production.
No big players
With eleven members, the alliance is still small, and there are no major oil or gas producing countries. But members say it is not necessary. Above all, it needs a strong signal that things can be done differently. Moreover, the initiative puts oil and gas extraction at the center of the international climate debate.
Some participating countries, such as Greenland, Denmark and Costa Rica, have significant stakes. Governments promise to resist pressure to exploit it.
“We want to show that the use of fossil fuels is a chapter in history and that it should be closed soon,” says Swedish Climate Minister Per Poland. “History has shown over and over again that in order to run something, someone has to move on. It’s possible, someone has to show that there is an alternative, so it’s easier for others to follow.
During climate negotiations, the consumption side of fossil fuels is generally emphasized, and the production side is quiet.
“Our question seems very logical, because we are all working on a path to climate change here,” Jorgensen says. “Yet to say we have to stop our own production is obviously provocative.”
According to Irish Environment Minister Iman Ryan, that importance needs to be urgently changed. “For a long time we have been responsible to consumers: are you doing your part – using the right kind of lighting?
Britain, which owns a significant oil and gas sector, refuses to join the alliance. Scotland has already announced its intention to join. There are talks with other governments, so the coalition is likely to grow even more in the final days of the summit.
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