They want governments to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
A delegate at a meeting of African ministers for the COP27 climate summit at the lobby of the al-Masa hotel, east of Cairo on Sept. 7. The United Nations' COP 27 climate conference will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from Nov. 7-18. (Photo: AFP)
Religious groups and activists around the globe have called for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and just transition from non-renewable resources in a global campaign letter released ahead of the global climate summit in Egypt.
The open multi-faith letter released on Nov. 1 is the result of an initiative spearheaded by the Laudato Si Movement and GreenFaith, a grassroots multi-faith movement for climate justice, which together represents more than 1.5 billion supporters.
The letter called upon “governments to urgently commence negotiations to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
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“Government action has been painstakingly slow and catered too much to the reckless and deceptive fossil fuel corporations, preventing meaningful and timely climate legislation,” it added.
The group also called for a three-point global plan that will be delivered to the world leaders at the 27th Conference of the Parties of the COP27 summit in Egypt from Nov. 6-7.
The group urged world leaders to end the expansion of any new coal, oil or gas production, phase-out existing production of fossil fuels in a manner that is fair and equitable and ensure a global just transition to 100 percent access to renewable energy globally.
Mon. Jorge Eduardo Lozano, general secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Catholic Bishops Council (CELAM) called upon governments to stop new fossil fuel projects in a press release.
“Corporations, governments and financial institutions must stop initiating new oil and gas exploration and replace fossil fuels with energy sources that are friendly to the planet and those of us who inhabit it,” he said.
Baraka Lenga, a grassroots GreenFaith organizer based in Tanzania highlighted the plight of the farmers in the country.
“Every day I see small farmers, their families and their animals suffering from the effects of climate change, such as unpredictable rain patterns, drought, heat waves and flooding.”
“For the sake of life and to prevent massive, cruel levels of suffering, Africa and the world need a binding agreement,” he added.
Sheikh Yussuf Nassur, religious leader of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims felt that the people of Africa were worst hit because of climate change despite having a negligible carbon footprint.
"Historically and presently, those hit first and worst by climate change in Africa and worldwide have a tiny carbon footprint,” said Sheikh Nassur.
Frances Namoumou of the Pacific Conference of Churches felt that “Pacific Islanders face a climate emergency which is an existential threat.”
The COP27 summit in Egypt lies within the African continent which faces severe droughts, meager rainfall, and failure of agricultural output resulting in famine and malnutrition among its people.
The 600-million-person World Council of Churches community endorsed the call for a Treaty in its recent Global Assembly.
Earlier reports emerged from the United Nations and the International Energy Agency (IEA) showing an alarming gap between nations’ climate commitments and those needed to meet the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree Celsius temperature change goal.
The campaign has garnered support from 70 cities including Kolkata, Los Angeles, and London, 101 Nobel Laureates, 3,000 scientists, 1,750 civil society organizations and 500 parliamentarians from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
Over the past six weeks, religious organizations have reached thousands of people of diverse faiths with education on a Fossil Fuel Treaty and have held public actions organized by the GreenFaith International Network in Europe, Africa, the US, Latin America, Indonesia, Australia and elsewhere.
Earlier in November 2020 around 46 faith-based institutes including Catholic, Protestant and Jewish groups issued the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuel ventures.
The coalition included Caritas Asia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference in the European Union, the Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities in the US and the American Jewish World Service.
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