Ahead of next week’s 50th annual United Nations Stockholm environmental conference in Sweden, a global coalition of parents, grandparents, and caregivers on Friday joined thousands of worldwide advocates calling on countries to back a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to “give children a liveable planet.”
“Our children deserve to live in a world that is safe. A world in which they have opportunities and choices and are not struggling from one disaster to the next.”
The group joined 101 Nobel laureates, more than 1,300 advocacy groups, thousands of academics, 231 parliamentarians, and others supporting the proposed treaty. Earlier this month, Hawaii state lawmakers became the first in the U.S. to endorse the document.
“As parents, grandparents, and carers from across the globe, we are calling on governments to negotiate, adopt, and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, for the sake of the children we love,” the group wrote in an open letter.
“Many of our children are still too small to know the state of the planet we are handing to them, or what the climate catastrophe will mean in their lifetimes,” the signers continue. “But we know. And as parents, we cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future.”
The letter continues:
Fossil fuels are the source of 86% of CO2 emissions that cause climate change. Our fossil fuel addiction means children in every country around the world are breathing toxic air, while storms and heat waves hit with increased severity and frequency.
World leaders know and even give speeches about how the climate crisis is already here and worsening. They acknowledge that sea levels are rising, and those who are most vulnerable and least responsible for the crisis are suffering the most, especially in the Global South. And yet the fossil fuel juggernaut continues on like a runaway train with our children’s futures on the track.
Noting that the world’s nations “are set to produce twice as much coal, oil, and gas as what is compatible with global climate goals,” the signers “call on governments to urgently commence negotiations to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
The three main components of the treaty are:
- Ending expansion of new coal, oil, or gas production in line with the best available science as outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme;
- Phasing out the production of fossil fuels in a manner that is fair and equitable, taking into account the respective dependency of countries on fossil fuels and their capacity to transition; and
- Ensuring a global just transition to 100% access to renewable energy globally, supporting dependent economies to diversify away from fossil fuels, and enabling all people and communities, not least the Global South, to flourish.
“Our children deserve to live in a world that is safe. A world in which they have opportunities and choices and are not struggling from one disaster to the next,” said Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative chair and mother of two Tzeporah Berman.
“One day I imagine that I will tell my grandchildren about this crazy time in history when we clawed at the last intact forests to get at the oil, a crazy time in history when we used to fill our cars and heat our homes with gas and they will barely believe me, because the world will be such a different place,” Berman added. “We need a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to carve out the future that we want for our children and the future that they deserve.”