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Abby Mohaupt Addresses the Climate Action Assembly II

Abby Mohaupt addresses the Climate Action Assembly II at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA.

Thank you. Friends, we know that fossil fuels are the primary cause of the climate crisis. They account for 86% of CO2 emissions in just the past decade. They are a threat to the global economy, health, peace, and climate security. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report explicitly notes that the world is set to reach the 1.5 degree Celsius level within the next two decades and attests that only the most drastic cuts in carbon emissions from now on would help prevent an even greater environmental disaster.

Scientists have been warning for decades about the catastrophic results on the climate if the world reaches average temperatures above 1.5 Celsius. And yet governments are ignoring the science and they keep expanding and funding the problem. Emissions from fossil fuels keep rising. But stopping new projects alone isn’t enough. We must phase out existing production. 

Even if no new fossil fuels, if no new projects were built from today onward, emissions from existing coal, oil, and gas infrastructure alone will blow the carbon budget by more than 130%. 

And so that is why we are calling for a not a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty which would complement the Paris Agreement which does not mention oil, gas, and coal. It would complement it by tackling the biggest contributor to climate change. A treaty would also significantly strengthen global cooperation on the climate emergency.

The treaty calls for three things. First, adjust energy transition which would support and sufficiently finance a global shift to renewable energy where no worker, community, or country is left behind. Second, it calls for non-proliferation or stopping the expansion of any new coal, oil, or gas. And three, it calls for a fair phase-out of existing production in line with 1.5 Celsius per the climate agreement in Paris.

People of faith all over the world have endorsed this treaty as a faithful response to the crisis at hand. We hail from many faiths and beliefs, but together we can remedy the decades of negligence and unfaithfulness to safeguard our coexistence with this earth and each other.

And just as our beliefs are entrenched in religious and spiritual teachings, our response to the climate crisis must be deeply rooted in science and equity to heal the planet and people alike. So sign the letter, the faith letter, in support of the fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty today. And in just a moment, there’ll be a slide up with the QR code. Thank you.

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