Climate change dynamic duo: SAFE Cities & Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

November 11, 2020

From city councils to the United Nations, these movements are tackling the climate crisis by phasing out fossil fuels and fast tracking clean energy worldwide.

We’re just going to come out and say it: what humanity does this decade will decide the future of our planet. Every day, our window to properly address climate change is shrinking. Every day, the health and safety of communities are at further risk from fossil fuels. But let’s be perfectly clear – we can avert the worst of these crises. We can end our dependence on fossil fuels and build a just, clean energy economy. The only question is whether or not we will.

At, we believe that we will win. We have the ingenuity, technology, and passion. What we’ve needed is a way to unite efforts to protect our communities with efforts to protect climate into one global movement.

Enter the dynamic duo of the SAFE Cities movement and the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

All around us, on virtually every continent around the globe, people are taking action. From Canada to California, from Boulder to Baltimore, from the Amazon Sacred Headwaters to the Rhineland, from Capetown to Singapore – and beyond – communities are fighting fossil fuel projects: and more often than not, they’re winning. The SAFE Cities movement is connecting these neighbors, local groups, elected officials, and government staff who are taking concrete and lasting action to protect community health and safety and address the climate crisis.

At the same time, the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty has been endorsed by hundreds of organizations collectively representing tens of millions of people, and is gaining traction within the halls of the United Nations. The Treaty is aiming to end the exploration for new fossil fuels, phase out existing production in line with a 1.5ºC scenario, and implement a just transition for every worker, community and country.

Taken together, these two efforts have the potential to address the community and global impacts of fossil fuels with the urgency and the scale necessary.

Can we count on you to endorse these efforts and stay ready for opportunities to take action moving forward? It’s going to take all of us.

As people who works these issues every single day, we’ll be the first to admit that the challenges posed by the climate crisis and fossil fuels may seem daunting. We’re going up against the most powerful, well-funded industry in the world, and the window we have to properly address climate change is shrinking everyday.

And yet – we’re hopeful. The movement to phase out fossil fuels has never been more powerful and transformative. System-wide change is within our reach.

Right now, we have a unique opportunity. Increasing numbers of decision-makers are realizing that investments in clean energy will help their constituents recover from the current economic crisis, while tackling environmental racism and saving lives. This is because one of the best ways to protect people from the toxic air pollution that’s disproportionately killing Black, Indigenous, brown, and poor people – and making them more vulnerable to COVID – is to phase out fossil fuels.

If enough communities pass SAFE policies, we could stop all new oil, gas and coal expansion in its tracks globally – and give ourselves the best possible chance of keeping temperature rise below 1.5° while building a more resilient, equitable future, and securing the health of our communities.

Pair this with a global Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and Green New Deal style programs wherever we can get them, and our world and our communities and our families will have a fighting chance. 

But none of this will magically happen. It’s going to take all of us rolling up our sleeves and doing the hard work necessary to make our leaders understand what’s at stake. We have to let them know that we won’t accept anything less than what’s needed to defeat climate change and protect our communities from fossil fuel pollution. We have to organize and fight like our lives depend on it – because they do.

Will you stand with us and endorse this global movement that is tackling the climate crisis at the scale and urgency we need?

We’ve known from the beginning that this fight to shift our energy systems and quite literally save the planet was going to be difficult. We’ve known that at times victory was going to seem impossible. But we’ve proved people wrong and done the impossible before.

Together, the community has protected millions of acres of forests that people thought couldn’t be saved. We’ve gone up against multinational oil, gas, and coal companies worth billions of dollars and come out victorious, blocking dozens of their projects that would have poisoned local communities and accelerated the climate crisis. We’ve shifted billions of dollars of purchasing from corporate powerhouses like Starbucks, Staples, and Levi’s onto sustainable pathways.

Our team is fewer than 50 people, but together this community is more than 450,000 people strong and growing – and we’re using our collective power to fight climate change, protect wild spaces, stand with impacted communities, and say no to new fossil fuels.

Learn more about SAFE Cities at

Learn more about the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty at