Austin, capital of Texas, the main oil-producing State in the USA, calls for a Fossil Fuel Treaty

Published on June 8, 2023


Austin, Texas became the first capital of a major oil producing region to call to negotiate a framework for a just transition away from fossil fuels.

8 June 2023 – Earlier today, Austin, Texas formally endorsed the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty proposal, becoming the first capital of a major oil producing region to call on world leaders to negotiate a framework to manage a just transition away from fossil fuels. Texas is by far the largest oil-producing state in the United States, home to 43% of the nation’s crude oil production.

Austin joins Los Angeles, the Hawai’i State Legislature and 90 other cities and subnational governments globally who have formally supported the call for a treaty that would end expansion of new coal, oil and gas projects while also managing a global just transition away from existing fossil fuel production to clean, renewable energy.

Austin’s resolution to support the Fossil Fuel Treaty proposal – sponsored by Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes and co-sponsored by Councilmembers José “Chito” Vela, José Velásquez, Zohaib “Zo” Qadri, and Leslie Pool – urges the United States Federal Government to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and to develop and enact a federal Climate Emergency Plan and Declaration.

Vanessa Fuentes, Austin Councilmember behind the resolution, said: “Cities have a responsibility to address and mitigate the environmental, social, and economic harms associated with climate change. The City of Austin proudly supports the Fossil Fuel Non-proliferation Treaty, and joins the call for a global effort to accelerate a just transition to clean energy for all.”

Hundreds of people from Austin called on their Councilmembers to vote for the Treaty endorsement and over 7,300 Treaty supporters around the world signed a petition that was presented at the Council meeting today, showing solidarity with leaders in Austin.

The support from the Texas capital comes just two weeks after the State Senate of California also formally endorsed the proposal via a resolution that will go to a vote in the State Assembly later this year. The growing support for the initiative from U.S. cities is building further strength behind demands for President Biden to end the era of fossil fuels after recent approvals of a host of devastating projects, including the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, oil and gas export terminals in the Gulf, and more recently, the Mountain Valley Pipeline. As a result, U.S. oil production in 2023 and 2024 is set to break records and continue fueling more climate, environmental and human disasters.

This is a powerful statement from the capital of Texas to advocate to reverse the trend and halt the unbridled expansion of fossil fuel projects in the state, which has made the country the world’s top oil producer. The strategic Permian region, straddling Texas and New Mexico, is the epicenter of the nation’s oil production and in recent years, the industry has invested heavily in the Permian shale oil boom, making it one of the most threatening “climate bombs” on the planet.

Last month, Texas state lawmakers passed sweeping anti-environmental bills, and climate advocates say more work is needed from grassroots organizers and municipal leaders to fight the expansion of new fossil fuel projects.

Temo Toren, from the Texas Campaign for the Environment, a civil society organization working to stop harmful fossil fuel projects who has been engaging local support for Council action, said: “We’re really proud that Austin City Council has formally recommended our federal government embrace negotiations for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. We need to organize our communities to continue pressuring elected leaders to join the global effort to reduce emissions. This is especially important in light of the recent failures of our state government in Texas where lawmakers didn’t fix our grid, fought against renewable energies, and gave bailouts to fossil fuel corporations.”

Kaiba White, an Energy Policy and Outreach Specialist from the Public Citizen Texas Office, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest said: It’s time for a global commitment to end the fossil fuel era for the good of humanity and all life on Earth. The costs of continued fossil fuel pollution are far too high, especially for the most vulnerable populations. The city of Austin, like other local jurisdictions, can do its part to phase out fossil fuel use in our community by fully implementing the Austin Climate Equity Plan and supporting the global call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

Anne Pernick, Senior Advisor to’s SAFE Cities campaign, a movement of neighbors, local groups, and local government leaders working to protect their communities from fossil fuels, said: “The call for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is coming from every continent and now Austin has shown incredible leadership in making the first endorsement from the biggest oil and gas producing state in the U.S. The fast-growing movement calling for a just transition to clean energy is powerful. Subnational and local governments like Austin are making it clear: We are moving forward with local policies to get off fossil fuels and we need to support international action for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

The push for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is spearheaded by a bloc of six Pacific countries – Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, Niue, and the Solomon Islands – who have committed to create a “Fossil Fuel Free Pacific” and “lead the creation of a global alliance to negotiate a” Fossil Fuel Treaty. The proposal is also supported by the World Health Organization, the European Parliament, 101 Nobel Laureates, 600+ parliamentarians in 83 countries, 2,100 civil society organizations including 380 in the USA, 3,000 scientists and academics and over 90 cities and subnational governments.

About the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative is spurring international cooperation to end new development of fossil fuels, phase out existing production within the agreed climate limit of 1.5°C and develop plans to support workers, communities and countries dependent on fossil fuels to create secure and healthy livelihoods. For more information on the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and proposal, access here.

About the SAFE Cities Campaign

SAFE Cities is a growing movement of neighbors, advocates, and local government leaders phasing out fossil fuels and fast-tracking clean energy solutions to ensure a just transition. Already dozens of cities and counties across the U.S. and Canada– and in more and more nations around the globe – have passed policies, including Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty endorsements, building and transportation electrification, prevention of new gas stations and new refining capacity, and more to keep their communities SAFE from fossil fuels, build renewable energy infrastructure, and create good, long-term jobs. SAFE Cities is an initiative of To learn more, visit

Media Contacts

Viviana Varin
Senior Communications Campaigner, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (France), +33 6 63 48 52 67Cari Barcas
Communications Director, (North America)