Some developments since the April blog-post on “A ‘polluter pays’ treaty to control global fossil carbon extraction – a big idea for COP26 to get talking about now”

by Hugh Richards, Chair of GlosCAN

From the September GlosCAN Newsletter

On 6th August, the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) published an essay collection entitled “North Sea Transition”, in which 11 authors (including a Ministerial Foreword by Anne-Marie Trevelyan and two essays by Gloucestershire MPs) give their perspectives on the future of the UK’s fossil fuel industries (excluding coal), broadly framed as a transition from today’s oil and gas extraction industries to various low carbon energy sources including offshore wind and “blue hydrogen”.

Most of the essay authors explore aspects of the transition that reflect their own interests in terms of policy and/or their particular constituencies. Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie’s contribution is entitled “Skilling up: why levelling up and the North Sea Transition needs a net zero workforce”, reflecting her interest in further education and training. Gloucester MP Richard Graham has written about “Global Britain and the North Sea: embracing new trading opportunities”, reflecting his position as Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to the ASEAN Economic Community, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, while also referring to his role as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Marine Energy. Others have written about financing the transition, preserving the Union (of Scotland with the rest of the UK), “levelling up”, the future of industries in Aberdeenshire and Teesside, and opposition to onshore fracking in newly Conservative-voting areas of Northern England.

The only contribution to go outside the essay collection’s focus on the UK and its offshore industries, and to consider global climate policy, is by Sir Bernard Jenkin, entitled “A fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty: learning from other forms of international cooperation in the battle against climate change”. In this he is following up on a brief statement of support for the idea of “a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty” (FF-NPT) in the March COP26 debate in parliament, noted in a GlosCAN blog-post in April. His essay does not explicitly support the specific FF-NPT campaign proposals that GlosCAN has recently endorsed (see June 2021 Newsletter), but it does support that campaign’s proposal for a global registry of fossil fuels.

From the October GlosCAN Newsletter

GlosCAN has been involved in the preparation of a proposal for COP26 “Geological Net Zero”: A proposal for a simple and globally effective international agreement on fossil carbon, as reported last month. Read the latest update and the full proposal.

Other updates (as of 1 November)

13 September: The FF-NPT campaign delivered a letter to the United Nations General Assembly demanding a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to manage a global phase out of coal, oil and gas, endorsed by over two thousand academics across disciplines and from 81 countries. The full letter and list of signatories is available at

26 October: Proponents of a “Carbon Takeback Obligation” (CTBO – one of the initiatives mentioned in the GlosCAN blog-post in April mentioned above) have published a peer-reviewed paper suggesting “that effective regulatory supply-side measures such as the CTBO merit serious consideration given that they might be politically more acceptable than the demand-reduction measures favoured by most current climate policies”. There will be a COP26 presentation “Carbon Takeback: applying the principles of ‘producer responsibility’ to the fossil fuel industry on Tuesday 9th November 2021, 14:00-15:30 (Blue Zone, COP26) and online.

(Please note: posts on these blog pages are the personal views of the authors only and are not intended to represent any agreed or general view on the part of

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