A global coalition of 101 Nobel Laureates, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Australia’s Professor Peter Doherty, are calling out the continued expansion of the fossil fuel industry as “unconscionable” in an open letter to political leaders on the eve of US President Biden’s Leaders Summit on Climate.
The Nobel Laureates – including economics, physics, peace, medicine, chemistry and literature prize winners – call for an end to coal, gas and oil development.
“Australia’s leaders need to stop the expansion of coal, gas and oil and work with our international partners to accelerate a transition to 100% renewable energy that leaves no one behind,” said Laureate Professor Peter Doherty.
“Climate change inaction is now the greatest threat to human security. Fossil fuels are the primary cause of the climate crisis yet expansion of oil, gas and coal continues,” Professor Doherty said.
The Australia Institute welcomes the open letter and agrees there is a need to end the approval of new coal, gas and oil development.
“It is not a radical position to call for no new coal mines. In a world that must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, the radical position is to expand coal and commit Australia to a gas-fired economy,” said Dr Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute’s Chief Economist.
“The debate is now changing as rapidly as the technology. Just this week former Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd jointly declared that building dozens of new coal mines won’t set us up for the future, it will lock us into the past.
“Australia Institute research shows proposals for new coal projects in the Upper Hunter alone have a combined output of 98 million tonnes per year, equivalent to ten new Adani-sized mines.
“Australia’s refusal to take meaningful action on climate change and commitment to expanding fossil fuel development means we are becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage.”