Port Vila Call for a Just Transition
to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific
On 17 March 2023 Pacific Island governments committed to create a “Fossil Fuel Free Pacific” and called for all countries to join them in managing a global, equitable, and unqualified phase out of coal, oil and gas.
This commitment comes after the Vanuatu and Tuvalu hosted the 2nd Pacific Ministerial Dialogue on Pathways for the Global Just Transition from Fossil Fuels in Port-Vila, Vanuatu, during a state of emergency after the country was hit by two severe cyclones in a 48 hour period.
At the close of the three-day meeting, Ministers and officials from a block of six Pacific countries – Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga, Fiji, Niue, and the Solomon Islands – agreed on an outcome resolution:
“Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific” that calls for action from Pacific and global leaders to:
Adopt a Pacific Island Forum Leaders Declaration for a just transition to a “Fossil Fuel Free Pacific” as soon as possible
Spearhead the global phase out of coal, oil and gas production in line with global temperature goal of below 1.5ºC, including at the UN Secretary General’s climate summit in September, at COP28, and beyond
Join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and urge major oil and gas producers to join
Call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and lead the creation of a global alliance to negotiate a new Treaty to govern the end to fossil fuel expansion, equitable phase out of fossil fuels, and a global just transition.
Redouble efforts to reaffirm, strengthen and codify legal obligations with respect to the global phase out of fossil fuels, including through calling for all nations to support the adoption of the Pacific’s UN General Assembly Resolution seeking an advisory opinion on climate change from the International Court of Justice
Avoid terminology such as “unabated” or “inefficient” that creates loopholes for fossil fuel producers and polluters.
Pacific Island nations bear almost no historical responsibility for the climate crisis, yet are acutely vulnerable to rising sea levels and extreme weather as climate impacts increase in frequency and severity. The joint call for an equitable global phase-out of fossil fuels and just transition cements the Pacific governments’ ongoing leadership for limiting warming to 1.5ºC. This policy leadership has been displayed through Pacific governments leading recent international initiatives including the push for an advisory opinion on climate change from the International Court of Justice, the development of a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and Tuvalu’s recent joining of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance as a core member.
Scientific evidence shows that committed emissions from existing fossil fuel energy infrastructure jeopardizes the 1.5°C goal, and nearly half of existing fossil fuel production sites must be shut down early if global heating is to be limited to 1.5ºC. To date, current international climate change frameworks have not constrained fossil fuel extraction at a rate consistent with the global temperature goal, and a liveable future hangs in the balance.