Religious groups call for worldwide climate treaty

COP27 kicks off in Egypt

As delegates from nearly 200 countries gather at the start of the Global U.N. Climate Summit  in Egypt. Religious groups and activists around the globe are now calling for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty and just transition from non-renewable resources.

In an open multi-faith global campaign letter released ahead of the global climate summit that kicked off on Sunday, called upon “governments to urgently commence negotiations to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

“Government action has been painstakingly slow and catered too much to the reckless and deceptive fossil fuel corporations, preventing meaningful and timely climate legislation,” it added.

The letter released on November 1, is the result of an initiative spearheaded by the Laudato Si Movement and GreenFaith, a grassroots multi-faith movement for climate justice, which together represents more than 1.5 billion supporters.

The group also called for a three-point global plan that will be delivered to the world leaders at the on going 27th Conference of the Parties of the COP27 summit.

The group urged world leaders to end the expansion of any new coal, oil or gas production, phase-out existing production of fossil fuels in a manner that is fair and equitable and ensure a global just transition to 100 percent access to renewable energy globally.

Mon. Jorge Eduardo Lozano, general secretary of the Latin American and Caribbean Catholic Bishops Council (CELAM) called upon governments to stop new fossil fuel projects.

“Corporations, governments and financial institutions must stop initiating new oil and gas exploration and replace fossil fuels with energy sources that are friendly to the planet and those of us who inhabit it,” he said.

Baraka Lenga, a grassroots GreenFaith organizer based in Tanzania highlighted the plight of the farmers in the country.

“Every day I see small farmers, their families and their animals suffering from the effects of climate change, such as unpredictable rain patterns, drought, heat waves and flooding.”

“For the sake of life and to prevent massive, cruel levels of suffering, Africa and the world need a binding agreement,” he added.

Sheikh Yussuf Nassur, religious leader of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims felt that the people of Africa were worst hit because of climate change despite having a negligible carbon footprint.

“Historically and presently, those hit first and worst by climate change in Africa and worldwide have a tiny carbon footprint,” said Sheikh Nassur.

The COP27 summit in Egypt lies within the African continent which faces severe droughts, meager rainfall, and failure of agricultural output resulting in famine and malnutrition among its people.

The 600-million-person World Council of Churches community endorsed the call for a Treaty in its recent Global Assembly.

Over the past six weeks, religious organizations have reached thousands of people of diverse faiths with education on a Fossil Fuel Treaty and have held public actions organized by the GreenFaith International Network in Europe, Africa, the US, Latin America, Indonesia, Australia and elsewhere.


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