Leaders of the small island state of Vanuatu have made an urgent plea for nations to sign a fossil fuel nonproliferation treaty. The proposal would see nations agree to end all new coal, oil and gas projects, while phasing out the use of fossil fuels. Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Vanuatu’s president also called for nations to make ecocide a crime punishable by the International Criminal Court, and he called on the U.N.’s International Court of Justice to rule that people have a right to be protected from the adverse impacts of the climate crisis.
President Nikenike Vurobaravu: “Fundamental human rights are being violated as we begin measuring climate change not in degrees of Celsius or tons of carbon but in human lives. The time is up. Action is required now. And that is why the nations of the Blue Pacific Continent are leading a global initiative to bring climate change to the International Court of Justice, the only principal U.N. organ that has not yet been given an opportunity to weigh in on the climate crisis.”