Fighting climate change with fossil fuel free zones

A new report released today by The Australia Institute explores how Fossil Fuel Free Zones (FFFZs) could contribute to action on climate change.

Written by Fergus Green of the London School of Economics and Political Science, the paper draws on the history of Nuclear Weapon Free Zones that helped limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

“Action on climate change needs not just policies to reduce emissions, but also to control the supply, transport and use of fossil fuels,” said Mr Green.

“25 countries have pledged to phase-out coal-fired power, France and New Zealand are phasing out offshore oil and gas and gas ‘fracking’ is banned in numerous jurisdictions.

“Fossil Fuel Free Zones would build on and help to integrate these efforts, while providing a platform for countries and regions to cooperate in phasing-out fossil fuels.

“Initially, zones could cover only certain fossil fuel activities. For instance, a jurisdiction without coal mining could declare itself to be a Coal Supply Free Zone. And zones could be declared at different levels, from a local footy club to a regional grouping of countries.

“In fact, most local councils have no coal mines, oil wells or gas wells, so they could already call themselves Fossil Fuel Supply Free Zones. South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania are already close to being Coal Free Zones, since they don’t mine coal and use little in their electricity.

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