Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Ocean Rebellion staged a theatrical action with a Boris Johnson head and an "Oil head" burning a boat on Marazion beach on June 5, 2021 in Cornwall, United Kingdom. (Photo: Gav Goulder/In Pictures via Getty Images)

The activist group Ocean Rebellion staged a theatrical action "starring" Prime Minister Boris Johnson and an "Oil head" burning a boat on Marazion beach on June 5, 2021 in Cornwall, United Kingdom. (Photo: Gav Goulder/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Parents Demand Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty 'For the Sake of the Children'

"We cannot remain silent as the fossil fuel industry and world leaders rob our children of a livable future," parents from 32 nations wrote in an open letter.

Brett Wilkins

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."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Bodycam Footage Shows Ohio Police Shooting Jayland Walker 60+ Times

"The Department of Justice needs to step in to investigate immediately," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner.

Common Dreams staff ·


'Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas' Petition Nears 1 Million Signatures

"He has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife's coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court," reads the petition.

Jake Johnson ·


'Tipping Point of No Return' Feared as Amazon Rainforest Fires Surge

"Up to now, the Biden administration has only legitimized the Brazilian government's anti-Indigenous and anti-environmental agenda," said Greenpeace USA.

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Urged to Embrace Windfall Tax as Exxon Says Profits Doubled in Second Quarter

"It's time for the president to demand that Congress pass a windfall profits tax on Big Oil and use the revenue to provide rebates to consumers NOW!" wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Jake Johnson ·


Texas Supreme Court Allows Century-Old Abortion Ban to Take Effect

"Extremist politicians are on a crusade to force Texans into pregnancy and childbirth against their will, no matter how devastating the consequences."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo