In a public letter and as part of this global campaign, a broad coalition of organisations including Triodos Bank is calling on European governments and policymakers to commit themselves to such a legally binding, international treaty at the upcoming COP28 in Dubai. Triodos Bank is also urging the other financial institutions to join this initiative.
Accelerate the just transition
The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative is a global effort to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement by fostering international cooperation to accelerate a transition to clean energy for everyone, end the expansion of coal, oil and gas, and phase out existing production. This needs to be done in a manner that is both fast and fair, so that no person, community or country is left behind and in keeping with what science shows is needed to address the climate crisis.
A treaty is urgently needed. While the Paris Agreement set a crucial global climate target, many governments continued to approve new coal, oil and gas projects even though burning the world’s current fossil fuel reserves would result in seven times more emissions than what is compatible with keeping warming below 1.5ºC.
Last week, the UNEP Production Gap Report 2023 warned that fossil fuel extraction plans are undermining the world’s chances of meeting our global climate targets. The report revealed indeed that, despite their climate pledges, governments still plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.
What we do today determines the emissions of the future
Jeroen Rijpkema, CEO of Triodos Bank: “The science is clear that ending new exploration and expansion and phasing-out fossil fuel production is critical over the next decade to keep the world in line with global climate goals and to avoid catastrophic climate disruption. What we do today will determine the emissions of tomorrow.”
According to Triodos Bank, the financial sector has a key role to play. Since the Paris Agreement was signed the world’s financial sector has pumped $5.5 trillion into fossil fuels. Jeroen Rijpkema: “If the financial sector is serious about its sustainable commitments, it should support the treaty initiative. A treaty will help create a steady business climate with long term perspective and a level playing field, which is in the interest of every business and financial institution."
In supporting the fossil fuel treaty, Triodos Bank is joining 8 nation-states, over 3,000 scientists and academics, 101 Nobel laureates, hundreds of health professionals, thousands of religious institutions including, a growing number of Indigenous organisations and youth activists, almost 100 cities and subnational governments, more than 600 Parliamentarians across the world, and a growing number of businesses in calling for a treaty to phase out fossil fuels and fast track a fair energy transition.
Ali Sheridan, Director of Major Partnerships at The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative, said:“We welcome Triodos Bank's support in becoming the first bank to back the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Treaty proposal seeks to ensure that governments finally assume their climate responsibilities and implement a just transition away from fossil fuel production, based on cooperation and equity. Businesses can play a leading role in building a fair and sustainable future, but it is imperative this is done in a credible way that ensures no one is left behind and that secures a fossil free future. Financial institutions in particular have a vital role to play in shifting away from enabling dangerous fossil fuel production towards actively supporting cleaner and fairer energy sources.
The era of fossil fuels is coming to an end. By supporting the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative, businesses can play a vital role in securing the international and multi stakeholder approach needed to deliver fossil fuel phase out and secure a safe future for all. Triodos Bank’s support for the initiative and wider climate leadership is to be commended. We urge other companies to join us in building a fossil fuel free world.”
Advocate of fossil fuel-free economy
Triodos Bank has always been an advocate for a fossil fuel-free economy, for instance by initiating the commitment the Dutch financial sector has signed to the climate agreement of the Dutch government.
Since its inception in 1980, Triodos Bank has financed renewable energy, explicitly excluding fossil fuels. It has a clear roadmap to make the economy more sustainable and just, focusing on five interlinked transition themes: food, resource, energy, society and well-being. In addition, Triodos Bank has set an ambitious target of being net-zero by 2035 with all its loans and investments, and in its own operations. It aims to reach this target by reducing its own emissions and the absolute emissions of the activities it finances. Triodos Bank also invests directly in nature-based solutions that remove carbon from the atmosphere.
For more information about the global campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, visit the website fossilfueltreaty.org.