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NH Professors Join Call for UN Fossil-Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty


Friday, September 17, 2021   

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's known as the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

More than 2,000 scientists and academics say the treaty, which would be a binding agreement, could help move forward on the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Professor Pam Jordan, who teaches politics and global affairs at Southern New Hampshire University, said that with the U.N. General Assembly now meeting, global leaders should take strong action.

"This treaty would seek to end the expansion of coal, oil and gas industries, phase out fossil fuels in an incremental way that can be measured, and then support a transition to renewable energy sources that would address the needs of people worldwide," she said.

Recent polling shows more than 60% of likely New Hampshire voters support clean-energy investments at the national level, such as those in the budget being negotiated in Congress. The letter noted that this global treaty would work to constrain the fossil-fuel supply.

Jordan added that with the recent U.N. report calling climate change a "Code Red for humanity," limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is crucial to stop the most catastrophic effeccts - which she notes would disproportionately fall on developing countries. She said the Paris Climate Accords set important goals, and it's time to take the next step.

"It's not just a voluntary kind of report the countries are putting out," she said, "but they're working with oil and gas companies to eliminate oil and gas and coal, and then start developing renewables in a more systematic way."

She said it's not clear whether the U.N. will take up the treaty, and if it does, there will be a process of officially adopting it and having nations ratify and sign it.

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