Vanuatu becomes world’s first nation to call for global treaty to phase out fossil fuels

Vanuatu coastline

by Peter Schulte

September 29, 2022 C.E.

Nikenike Vurobaravu, President of the Pacific Island archipelago nation Vanuatu, has formally called for a binding global treaty to phase out the use of fossil fuels. His historic speech at the UN General Assembly in New York City in front of representatives from dozens of the world’s nations made Vanuatu the world’s first country to support such action. While Vanuatu is now the first country to back such a treaty, the Vatican, the World Health Organization, and at least 65 cities and local governments around the world have also formally expressed their support.

Vurobaravu also called on other nations to join him in urging such a treaty and to make ecocide a crime punishable by international law, stating: “We call on states to join the group of nations proposing to include the crime of ecocide in the Rome statute. Acting with the knowledge of severe and widespread or long-term damage to the environment can no longer be tolerated.”

In addition to this historic call-to-action, Vanuatu has also taken practical steps to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and combat the climate crisis. It has already become one of the world’s first carbon-negative countries (i.e., sequestering more carbon than it emits) and has begun implementing a plan to completely phase out all fossil fuels in the country by 2030.

While Vanuatu is only one small country with relatively small global influence, its clarion call for meaningful climate action is an unmistakably monumental step in legitimizing and initiating a global transition to a sustainable, livable economy.


Era: Today (2017 C.E. - 2024 C.E.)
Year: 2022 C.E.
Topic: Climate crisis and International cooperation
Region: Australia & Oceania
Country: Vanuatu
Actor Type: Nations