The World Health Organization (The World Health Organization) and nearly 200 other health societies have issued an unprecedented call for a global treaty to prevent the spread of fossil fuels.
a call to action Published Wednesday, it urges governments to agree to a legally binding plan to phase out fossil fuel exploration and production, similar to Framework Convention on Tobaccowhich was negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization in 2003.
“Modern addiction to fossil fuels is not just an act of environmental sabotage. From a health perspective, it is an act of self-sabotage,” said WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The message was a watershed moment, said Diarmed Campbell-Lindrum, head of climate change at the World Health Organization. “This is the first time the health sector has come together to make such an explicit statement about fossil fuels,” he told the Guardian. “The current burden of death and disease from air pollution is comparable to that of tobacco use, while the long-term effects of fossil fuels on Earth’s climate represent an existential threat to humanity – like nuclear weapons.”
The Campaign To finish the exploration and production of fossil fuels, he has won broad support from the Dalai Lama and 100 other Nobel laureates, the Vatican, many cities and island states, more than 1,000 health professionals and nearly 3,000 scientists and academics.
The initiative aims to emulate the successes of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weaponssigned in 1968, which to some extent limited the spread of nuclear weapons and technology.
More countries have signed this treaty than any other arms control agreement, although nuclear powers like India, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan have not.
Ira Helfand, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and co-chair of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said: “The two dominant issues of our time – the climate crisis and the threat of nuclear war – are deeply intertwined. The climate crisis is leading to greater international conflict and an increased risk of nuclear war, and nuclear war will cause In a catastrophic and sudden climate disruption. The world must unite to prevent these two existential threats.”
In email comments supporting the new initiative, award-winning professor Noam Chomsky said: “Humans are walking toward the abyss. When we reach it, unimaginable catastrophe is inevitable. There is a narrow chance of saving ourselves, and the countless other species that We destroy it with reckless abandon. There is still time to rid ourselves of fossil fuels, not so much. We will seize the opportunity, or the human experiment will end disturbingly.”
In addition to being an existential threat to future generations, fossil fuels are a danger nowadays, More than 8 million live prematurely in 2018, 18% of the total that year According to one of the studies.
Most of these deaths are caused by air pollution but the climate crisis also increases the risk of heat-related diseases and creates ideal conditions for the transmission of food and waterborne diseases and the spread of vector-borne diseases.
Extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and fires carry their own health risks, while fossil fuel workers and communities near factories face a myriad of risks ranging from oil spills and pipeline explosions to lung disease and cancers.
The new initiative says the shift to clean energy must respect the rights of indigenous peoples and be fair to “every worker, community and country”.
“We have a moral duty to care, and we cannot remain silent about the global health risks posed by fossil fuels,” said Ruth Itzel, Co-Chair of the Children’s International Federation of Environmental Health Group. “Our message to government leaders around the world is: Everyone’s health depends on their lives.” Life today, and future generations, is phasing out fossil fuels, quickly, justly and completely.”