Colombia’s first leftist president and Goldman Environmental Prize-winning VP promise to transition the country away from fossil fuels.

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch

The results of Colombia’s latest election could be a major victory for the planet.

On Sunday night, the country voted in its first-ever leftist president, Gustavo Petro, and its first Black vice president, Francia Marquez, who is also a Goldman Environmental Prize winner, as Climate Home News reported. Included in the pair’s ambitious agenda is a commitment to ending new fossil fuel exploration and phasing out all fossil fuel use. If they succeed, Colombia could become the largest fossil fuel producing nation to abandon the energy sources largely responsible for the climate crisis.

Gustavo Petro interviewed by a news station on the street

“These are not baby steps but huge steps towards the transition and reducing fossil fuels,” Colombian environmentalist Martin Ramirez told Climate Home News.

In his manifesto, Petro promised to transition from an energy system based primarily on fossil fuels to one based on a variety of renewable sources. He also promised to incentivize the use of electric vehicles and to protect the Amazon rainforest as a crucial carbon sink.

“We will promote within Colombia’s foreign policy a great American front in the struggle against climate change, which includes saving the Amazon rainforest and restoring it as the great lungs of humanity,” the manifesto said.

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