The World Council of Churches, representing 580 million Christians across 120 countries, formally endorsed calls for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty at a meeting in Geneva this week.

In its endorsement, the World Council of Churches’ (WCC) central committee said it was meeting at a time of record high sea surface and air temperatures and that despite some steps being taken to lessen the impact of climate change, “the primary root causes of the climate crisis, namely fossil fuels, are barely addressed.”

The WCC also acknowledged countries most vulnerable to climate change have contributed the least to the problem, but nonetheless are providing leadership to the global community on how to get out of this crisis. It’s a nod to the leadership of Pacific Island states like Vanuatu and Tuvalu, which were the first and second countries to call for a non-proliferation treaty.

“Pacific churches are grateful to the World Council of Churches central committee for [its] endorsement of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty,” said general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches Rev. James Shri Bhagwan in a statement. “The WCC has been supportive of such efforts and this positive response to a specific call by churches from the region that are spearheading the political call for a fossil fuel treaty is a strong affirmation for the just transition that we need along with just climate finance.

“It is also a reminder of the role faith communities play in mobilizing the response to climate change,” he added. “We must now find and keep within us the will to do what is right and just, the foresight to forgo immediate gains for the greater good, and the hope that we can pass on to our children a better world than we inherited.”

The WCC endorsement follows other faith-based organization endorsements, including Islamic Relief Worldwide, Soka Gakkai, the Anglican Communion, and the Vatican.

Inspired by nuclear weapon non-proliferation agreements, a fossil fuel treaty would aim to prevent fossil fuel expansion and phase out the industry over time.

Beyond Pacific Island state endorsements, to date, the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative has also been endorsed by the European Parliament, the World Health Organization, hundreds of elected officials, scores of cities and sub-national governments, thousands of academics, and 101 Nobel laureates.

Keep reading

Any god worth believing in would have told us: 'above all take care of the only world that matters, the real one.'