Skip to main content

The passing of the motion by Toronto City Council to endorse the call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty led to a number of op-ed articles and letters to the editor being published by various news outlets: 

The Public Health Case for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty
by Kim Perrotta and Dr. Jacob Pendergrast. The Hill Times, July 26, 2021

As public and clinical healthcare professionals who are deeply concerned about the risks that climate change presents to the livability of the planet, we were encouraged by Toronto City Council’s July 15th decision to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.  This treaty calls upon countries to phase out fossil fuels – whose consumption serves as the single greatest cause of climate change – and invest in a just transition to a sustainable and decarbonized energy system.  We are now hoping that Canada’s five federal parties will do the same…  Read more 


Letters to the Editor

‘It’s incredible nobody has been killed’
Boyd Reimer. Toronto Star, July 16, 2021

Thursday’s funnel cloud in Barrie almost cost precious lives. The wind from that same rotating storm was felt in Toronto the same hour that the Toronto City Council voted to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative. The timing had eye-opening irony: Terror strikes the hearts of those who see a funnel cloud — and also those who see the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. What the council voted to endorse was akin to a nuclear weapons treaty. Its disturbing name was meant to wake us up to something that we’re causing ourselves: It’s likely that the dramatic weather pattern that caused the Barrie tornado may have been partially influenced by the massive Western heat dome, which scientists say is likely caused by climate change.

‘It’s time to get radical on the climate crisis’
Anne Keary. Toronto Star, July 9

Alyssa Scanga is right: “All the tree planting and carbon offsetting in the world won’t fix the fact that fossil fuel dependency is rapidly destabilizing the Earth’s climate.”
This is why the global campaign for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is so important. Unlike pledges to get to “Net-Zero” or promises to take “climate action,” the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is resistant to greenwashing.

The treaty explicitly names the problem — the production and use of fossil fuels – and it provides a solution: an international agreement to phase out fossil fuels rapidly and invest in a just transition for workers and communities. Our climate crisis is worsening, disproportionately affecting those already suffering as a result of systemic inequities. If we are to have a chance of averting irreversible and catastrophic climate breakdown, there is no other way, but to end the use of fossil fuels.

For the sake of young people like Alyssa Scanga, it is time to demand bold action and to do so in no uncertain terms.

‘Mother Nature is begging for help. Will we listen?’
Rebecca Weigand, Toronto. July 13

Thank you for the piece by Jennifer Cole from Vancouver. Seven hundred people died in one week due to the heat dome … impacts on sea animals, on the oceans, wildfires, the effects building up every day. We need to act on climate change now with all the urgency it deserves. We need to stop burning fossil fuels in all their forms. A tax on carbon is one step, but we need to go further and use every tool available.

The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a global treaty, inspired by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty of the cold war, and the Montreal Protocol through which we phased out ozone-depleting chemicals.

In Canada, the government subsidized the oil and gas industries to the tune of about $18 billion in 2020. Imagine if this money were used to transition to renewables!

The treaty is a commitment to the rapid phasing-out of fossil fuels, and to supporting workers, communities, and countries through this transition. It goes a step further than the Paris agreement, a step we urgently need. Canada must take seriously the need to reduce our national carbon footprint.

It’s too late, we are already in the climate crisis, but we can still decide how bad it will be. Let’s leave our children the knowledge and truth that we can come together for change, that we can fight to create something better for everyone, that we didn’t give up.

‘It’s time to get radical on the climate crisis’
John Stephenson, Etobicoke. July 9

The contributor rightly calls out adults for “incrementalism,” the new climate denialism, which is really a slow death march to Armageddon. If you agree it’s a climate emergency, act like it’s a damn emergency!

It’s a war we must win, for without victory, there is no survival. 

You have a chance to do one thing right now: Fire off an email to your Toronto city councillor and copy your MPP and MP saying something like the following:

“Please support the motion of Councillors Mike Layton and Shelley Carroll to send Justin Trudeau a letter demanding that Canada join the Dalai Lama and 100 other Nobel Prize laureates calling for an end to the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. There is already more than enough to bring the world to an end.”

The politicians need to hear it from you. Do it right now! (I just did.)