Faith Leaders Globally Unite Endorsing-Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

As preparations get underway across the world for the annual Season of Creation, faith leaders from various denominations are rallying their followers to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Season of Creation, starting on September 1 and concluding on October 4, serves as a pivotal time for faith communities to express their commitment to environmental stewardship, and an initiative of this magnitude across the globe addresses the pressing need for a coordinated effort to phase out fossil fuels and transition towards cleaner energy sources.

A day coinciding with the UN General Assembly, September 21st, 2024, has been declared a Global Day of Action by faith leaders including representatives from Islamic Relief Worldwide, the World Council of Churches, and Soka Gakkai International. The treaty seeks to unite nations, faith institutions, and individuals in a shared commitment to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. This initiative will provide a platform for faith communities worldwide to express their support for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Drawing inspiration from Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’ amongst the faith leaders, which emphasizes the urgency of transitioning to clean energy sources, Dr. Lindlyn Moma, Director of Advocacy at Laudato Si’ Movement, states, “People of faith worldwide are taking decisive action.” Religious communities globally, supported by influential figures like the Dalai Lama and Cardinal Michael Czerny, are urging a halt to fresh coal, oil, and gas exploration and production and emphasizing the imperative for a swift cessation of current fossil fuel production.

The call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty which began ahead of the COP 27 in Egypt in 2022 by an open letter from more than 430 faith leaders groups, has gained momentum globally, with 12 nations, including Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Fiji, and Colombia, endorsing the initiative. The World Health Organization, the European Parliament, Peruvian Indigenous Nations, civil society organizations, and over half a million individuals, including Nobel Laureates and leading academics, also support the treaty signaling the widespread recognition of the urgent need for coordinated international action.

stressing the point, that faith leaders make is there is no mechanism in place to limit fossil fuel expansion despite commitments under the Paris Agreement. According to the United Nations Environment Program, governments are planning to expand fossil fuel production at a rate double that which would align with the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming threshold set by the international scientific community. The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty aims to fill this gap by providing a framework for a global wind-down of oil, gas, and coal production.

As faith leaders mobilize their communities during the Season of Creation, the call for a Fossil
Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty gains strength. The initiative represents a united front against the
existential threat posed by fossil fuels, emphasizing the need for urgent and equitable action from
governments to protect the planet. The upcoming Global Day of Action during the UN General
Assembly in September marks a critical step towards building a sustainable and environmentally
conscious future.

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