Global religious leaders call for fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty

Various religious leaders call for a fossil-fuel non-proliferation treaty. [GreenFaith]

Religious leaders from around the world are now demanding a fossil-fuel non-proliferation treaty, aimed at curbing global warming and reducing the negative effects of the climate emergency.

The fossil-fuels non-proliferation treaty is a campaign that would end the exploration of new fossil fuels, phase out existing production in line with the global commitment to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and accelerate equitable transition to renewable energy.

The leaders, in a virtual event last week unanimously called for a legally binding agreement, saying that it reflected a moral, spiritual and practical need.

GreenFaith International Network, a religious organisation based in New York, USA, avers that there has been little to no progress in reducing the production of fossil fuels.

"The main cause of the climate emergency is fossil fuels. For the sake of life and to prevent massive, cruel levels of suffering, Africa and the world needs a binding agreement that stops new fossil fuel projects and provides generous support for a transition to a clean energy future and universal access to clean, affordable energy," GreenFaith's Global Director of Organizing Meryne Warah said.

The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) held that overreliance on fossil fuels openly defies Islamic teachings, as those most affected by climate change have a tiny carbon footprint.

"Why should they suffer while the world's largest corporations and wealthy governments fail to act?" posed Sheikh Nassur, a SUPKEM religious leader.

The clergy has also urged other religions to come forth and support the call for governments and financial institutions by signing a multi-faith letter ahead of COP27.

The virtual event brought together a network of religious leaders co-hosted by the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, the Laudato Si Movement, GreenFaith, and grassroots religious activists.

The group added it will carry out peaceful demonstrations this month in East Africa, the US, Australia, and France to protest new fossil fuel projects and urge the world's largest asset managers to end support for climate-destructive projects.

According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), coal, oil, and gas make up 86 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the past decade.

"The urgent need to shift from fossil fuels to renewables is not just a necessary alternative but a financially viable one," IPCC noted.

Experts hope that emissions will be halved by 2030 to limit global warming.