Civil Society Delivers Letter Demanding No New Fossil Fuels
More than 375 NGOs join together in bold demand to save the climate
MARRAKESH - Today, a coalition of over 375 nongovernmental organizations delivered a letter to global leaders with an urgent yet simple new demand for climate action: no new fossil fuel development.
Building off of new research showing that the carbon embedded in existing fossil fuel production, if allowed to run its course, would take us beyond the globally agreed goals of limiting warming to well below 2˚C and pursuing efforts to limit to 1.5˚C, the letter calls on world leaders to “put an immediate halt to new fossil fuel development and pursue a just transition to renewable energy with a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry.”
The show of global resistance comes at a critical time after the results of the U.S. election. The letter delivery comes the day before a day of distributed solidarity actions around the U.S. and the world to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline. Organizations from dozens of countries came together to show that the climate movement will not be deterred in their fight to oppose new dirty infrastructure and keep fossil fuels in the ground.The show of global resistance comes at a critical time after the results of the U.S. election. The letter delivery comes the day before a day of distributed solidarity actions around the U.S. and the world to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline.
Letter signatories gathered at the UN climate negotiations in Morocco to deliver the letter to global leaders in an artistic action within the climate negotiations conference center. A press conference followed.
The letter can be found at http://keepitintheground.org.
A webcast of the press conference can be found here: http://unfccc.cloud.streamworld.de/webcast/global-demand-to-stop-new-fossil-fuels
Quotes from speakers at the press conference follow:
“Our research has demonstrated that if the world is going to live up to the Paris Agreement, there is no room in the atmosphere for any new fossil fuel development. The only way to avoid either dangerous climate change, or an abrupt loss of jobs and investment, is to begin a managed decline of fossil fuel production and a just transition to clean energy. This letter shows the massive global movement that has woken up to this reality. World leaders would be wise to heed this call,” said Greg Muttitt, Senior Advisor with Oil Change International.
“The geophysics of climate stabilization is clear in that carbon-dioxide emissions have to be phased out to zero to stay within a limited carbon budget. There are various way of doing this, but from a precautionary principle one would try to limit our future reliance on uncertain technologies - and the best way to do that is to increase action to get those emissions down - across all sectors, but beginning with the power sector - and particularly coal,” said Joeri Rogelj, Research Scholar at the Energy Program of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
“If the Paris agreement is going to have any relevance, then we need to freeze all new fossil fuel projects and ensure a just transition to a world powered by renewable energy for all. Communities at the frontlines of climate change have been fighting for this for years with escalating risks to their lives and livelihoods. The only way forward is for governments to choose to be on the right side of history and enact the calls of millions worldwide,” said Nicole Oliveira, 350.org.
“Coal is already in a structural decline in key countries like China. Money going into building new coal power plant risks being stranded there. And around the world, renewable energy, such as wind and solar, are not only capable of meeting new power demands, but it’s also starting to replace dirty fossil fuels. Meanwhile, millions of people in countries China, India, as well as Europe and the US have had enough of their health and their environment being harmed by the burning of fossil fuels. They are calling for leaders to clear the way for clean and accessible energy systems. We will be the generation that ends fossil fuels,” Li Yan, Deputy Program Director, Greenpeace East Asia.
350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.