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Initiative aims to create a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty » Yale Climate Connections


In the 1960s, the threat of nuclear war inspired nations to negotiate an international treaty to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. Now there’s a similar growing call to prevent the spread of fossil fuels.

“Today, fossil fuels are our nuclear weapons. They are what is threatening our health, our economic future, and our global security,” says Tzeporah Berman, chair of the Fossil Fuel Nonproliferation Treaty initiative.

The group is calling for nations to develop a plan to stop producing fossil fuels and fully transition to clean, renewable energy. 

More than 400 organizations, 1,300 academics and researchers, and cities including Los Angeles and Barcelona have endorsed the initiative.

Berman says the treaty is needed because – although many countries have set climate goals – few have taken serious steps to halt the production of fossil fuels. 

“Almost every single country will tell you that we can’t stop producing oil, gas and coal because other countries aren’t, so we’ll be uncompetitive,” she says.

Berman says an international treaty could help create a coordinated plan for countries to take this critical step — together.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media and Diana Madson



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