WebHeader_Grove.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Join as a sustainer before NOON TODAY and be entered to win $1,000!
NH News

N.H. Academic One Of 2,000 Signers To Letter Urging New Fossil Fuel Treaty Ahead Of UN General Assembly

Climate Change by SorbyRock.jpg
Photo by SorbyRock, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Pamela Jordan is an associate professor at Southern New Hampshire University. She said that an important distinction between this treaty and the Paris Climate Agreement is that the new treaty would be binding.

Over 2,000 scientists and academics signed a letter calling on world leaders to adopt a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty ahead of the opening of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Get NHPR's reporting about politics, the pandemic, and other top stories in your inbox — sign up for our newsletter today.

The treaty would create a global plan to end new fossil fuel development, phase out the existing production of fossil fuels, and invest in global access to renewable energy.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that the burning of fossil fuels has accounted for 86% of carbon dioxide emissions over the last decade. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.

Though the current trend in climate policy is to focus on the demand for fossil fuels, the proposed treaty is meant to address the supply of oil, gas, and coal, the letter says.

Pamela Jordan, who signed on to the letter, is an associate professor at Southern New Hampshire University where she studies cooperation on climate action. She said that an important distinction between this treaty and the Paris Climate Agreement is that the new treaty would be binding.

“It could better address the issue of the free-rider problem, whereby a number of countries might sign on to something that’s non legally binding, like the Paris Climate Agreement, have voluntary pledges to cut emissions, but then not go through with it,” she said.

The letter follows another open letter to world leaders signed by 101 Nobel laureates, delivered in April, that called for governments around the world to sign on to the treaty ahead of a major climate conference in Glasgow.

Some cities, like Barcelona and Vancouver, have already endorsed the treaty, according to the initiative that organized the call to action.