More than 100 Nobel laureates, including the Dalai Lama, have signed a letter calling on world leaders to take action and tackle the climate crisis while also making a call to “stop fossil fuel expansion”.
In the open letter published on Wednesday, on the eve of Earth Day and before the Earth Day Summit, peace, literature, medicine, physics, chemistry and economic sciences laureates urged leaders to take concrete steps to phase out the current production of fossil fuel and invest in renewable energy.
“Climate change is threatening hundreds of millions of lives, livelihoods across every continent and is putting thousands of species at risk,” the letter said. “The burning of fossil fuels – coal, oil, and gas – is by far the major contributor to climate change.
“Allowing the continued expansion of this industry is unconscionable,” it added.
The 101 laureates also called on leaders to invest in a “transformational plan” that could support dependent economies to diversify from oil, gas and coal, while allowing worldwide communities to “flourish through a global just transition”.
The letter said continuous support to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement is needed.
In the Paris accord, countries agreed in 2015 to keep rising global temperatures to below 1.5C (2.7F).
The letter highlights that the Paris agreement has no mention of oil, gas or coal, while the industry keeps growing.
According to the most recent UN Environment Programme report, 120 percent more coal, oil, and gas will be produced by 2030.
Today 101 Nobel Prize winners called for a phase-out of coal, oil & gas.
— Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty (@fossiltreaty) April 22, 2021
On Thursday, the virtual Earth Day Summit, hosted by United States President Joe Biden, starts. During the two-day event, the US is expected to announce an aggressive new target for curbing carbon emissions by 2030.
World leaders are also expected to keep pushing Brazil to crack down on deforestation in the Amazon region.
Bilateral discussions – if successful – could compel Japan, China, South Korea or Canada to announce new aspirations for meeting goals consistent with the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Countries are also preparing for the next UN climate summit scheduled to take place in Scotland in November.