Parents call for the end of the fossil fuel era to give children a livable planet
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.
We bring our children into this world, helping them learn to walk, to talk, and we teach them about the wonder of all that is around them. 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.
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.
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.
We are set to produce twice as much coal, oil and gas as what is compatible with global climate goals. Our leaders talk about climate commitments, whilst they approve and subsidise fossil fuel projects with our money. We wonder how they have the strength to look today’s children in the eye.
As we put our children to sleep each night we tell them stories, and hug them tight. But the story they face when they wake needs to change before it is too late.
We need a new story, a new chapter for our children. This is why we are joining a growing call on governments to urgently commence negotiations to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, laying out a binding global plan to:
- End expansion of any 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;
- Phase-out existing 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;
- Ensure a global just transition to 100% access to renewable energy globally, support dependent economies to diversify away from fossil fuels, and enable all people and communities, not least the Global South, to flourish.
Our children deserve a better, equitable world. A safe place to learn, play and live. One where they can dream big and hope for the future. A world where they can breathe clean air and drink clean water. Where energy is clean, accessible and secure. And where Indigenous lands and wisdom are valued and respected, and we live in balance with nature.
We love our children and would do anything to protect them. We refuse to hand them a broken and dangerous world. A clear, global plan to phase out fossil fuels is the first part of a better story for all children, and future generations. Governments must make it happen now, for our children’s sake.