Frequently Asked Questions

Fossil Free Zones Initiative Overview

Q: What is the inspiration behind Fossil Free Zones?
A: Fossil Free Zones draws inspiration from Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones, promoting peace through nuclear disarmament. The objective is to encourage places to transition away from fossil fuels, fostering a collective movement towards a sustainable and fossil free future.

Q: What are our goals?
A: The goals include raising awareness, building a global movement, monthly expansion of the Fossil Free Zones map, and onboarding regional leaders for customized branches.

Q: What are the benefits of being a Fossil Free Zone?
A: Benefits include virtual recognition badges, inspiration and norm-building, global visibility, social media shout-outs, networking and resources, and a sense of personal efficacy.

Qualification and Participation

Q: Is it necessary to be completely free of fossil fuel activities to qualify?
A: No, progress towards phasing out fossil fuels is recognized, allowing identification as an Oil Free Zone, Gas Free Zone, Coal Extraction Free Zone, etc.

Q: Can a country be considered a Fossil Extraction Free Zone even if it still burns fossil fuels?
A: Yes, a country that no longer extracts oil, gas, and coal but still burns them can qualify as a Fossil Extraction Free Zone, recognizing progress toward a fossil free future.

Q: Can a zone get a personalized badge?
A: Yes, by making an agreed-upon donation, personalized badges can be created for identified zones, customized in the local language. Contact us through the Contact Us page for inquiries.

Q: How do you deal with places that have no fossil infrastructure anyway? Is there a “fossil free by default” status? Why should we join if we haven't done anything?
A: Places naturally qualifying without additional effort, such as those lacking fossil fuels, are encouraged to join. The emphasis is on collectively building a norm against fossil fuels and contributing to a global movement.

Q: Can Fossil Free Zones include marine or coastal areas to address offshore drilling concerns?
A: Yes, Fossil Free Zones can indeed include marine or coastal areas to address concerns related to offshore drilling and its impact on ecosystems. The initiative recognizes the importance of extending its framework to include regions affected by offshore drilling activities, promoting a comprehensive and sustainable approach to combating the impact of fossil fuel extraction.

Transition and Equity

Q: How do you ensure that transitions to Fossil Free Zones are done justly and equitably?
A: The initiative is committed to just and equitable transitions, with participating places responsible for ensuring a fair transition that considers social, economic, and environmental aspects.

Q: What about the materials and products that were made by fossil fuels within the Fossil Free Zone?
A: Evaluation focuses on the absence of extraction or burning within the zone, not considering fossil fuels present in products or materials. Transportation and processing within the zone are currently not accounted for.

Q: What if a Fossil Free Zone is connected to the grid?
A: Fossil Free Zones generating on-site renewable energy but connected to the grid for emergencies qualify. Annual energy production must meet or exceed demand, with the ability to feed excess energy into the grid.

Q: What about fossil powered vehicles within a Fossil Free Zone?
A: Gasoline vehicles on streets disqualify a zone. Individual buildings can be registered until the broader issue is resolved.

Framework and Philosophy

Q: Why do you have extraction free zones as part of your framework?
A: Including extraction free zones strategically reduces extraction, making fossil fuels less competitive and aligning with the broader goal of transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Q: Can a product be a Fossil Free Zone?
A: No, a product itself cannot be a Fossil Free Zone. Anticipation for fossil free products is part of the second phase of Fossil Free Zones.

Q: Can I offset my emissions to become a Fossil Free Zone?
A: No, the concept goes beyond carbon offsetting. Fossil Free Zones require a direct cessation of extraction and burning within a defined area, emphasizing active transition away from fossil fuels.

Q: What's the difference between carbon neutral and fossil free?
A: Carbon neutral relies on offsetting; Fossil Free Zones focus on direct cessation—whether fossil fuels are burned or extracted in a place or not, avoiding complexities associated with offsetting.

Q: Everybody talks about “net-zero.” Isn’t “fossil free” just another way to say the same thing?
A: No, "net-zero" introduces potential loopholes; Fossil Free Zones eliminate these loopholes, focusing on direct cessation without relying on complex offsetting mechanisms.

Q: What about gas or diesel backup powered generators?
A: Any fossil fuel use disqualifies a zone. Transitioning to alternative generators running on renewables is recommended for a complete shift away from fossil fuels.

Stay Informed

Q: How can I stay updated on the progress and activities of Fossil Free Zones globally?
A: Stay connected through social media platforms to receive updates on progress, initiatives, and activities within the Fossil Free Zones community.