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EducationWorld in need for a fossil fuel treaty

World in need for a fossil fuel treaty

Published: 20th Aug 2021 10:22 pm

Hyderabad: A new wave of activists is calling for global action and cooperation to phase out fossil fuels. These calls are amplifying the push for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty ahead of the long-awaited COP26 set for Glasgow, Scotland in November this year. The Treaty aims to be a complementary mechanism to the Paris Agreement by directly addressing the fossil fuel industry and putting the just transition at its core. Read here….

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Recently, a new wave of activists have joined cities, parliamentarians, scientists and over 101 Nobel Laureates in calling for global action and cooperation on the question of fossil fuel production.

They recognise that the Paris Agreement requires a complementary mechanism to drive a global and equitable transition away from coal, oil, and gas production, and are calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Slow transition

In the five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, the energy industry has continued to expand significantly. But to keep global warming below 1.5ºC fossil fuel production must decline every year by 9.5%, 8.5% and 3.5% for coal, oil, and gas, respectively, until 2030.

A model for international cooperation

The 1.5°C pathway is becoming increasingly narrow. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report notes that the globe has already warmed by 1.2°C degrees. The Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres has said that the IPCC report must “sound a death knell for coal and fossil fuels before they destroy our planet”.

Ending fossil fuel expansion

The first pillar (non-proliferation) has seen great momentum in the past couple of months. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has found that new fossil fuel expansion conflicts with Paris goals and G7 members have agreed to stop financing new coal projects.

Phasing out existing production

It is also widely agreed in the scientific community that we need to defuse the fossil-fuel threat by winding down existing stockpiles and limiting the production of fossil fuels in line with the best available climate science .

Managing a just global transition

Wealthy producing countries need to lead the way by sharing the benefits and burdens of transition with poorer nations, workers, and fossil-fuel dependent communities, many of whom will be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change should we overshoot our 1.5°C temperature goal.

A growing international movement

In April 2021, 101 Nobel Laureates, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, called on world leaders to stop fossil fuel expansion. Hundreds of organizations, who represent millions of individuals, have also followed suit and have explicitly called for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Amongst these are almost 1500 scientists, academics and researchers.

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