We must leave 84% of all fossil fuels in the ground according to the Paris Agreement. So we should stop fighting with our neighbours over access to these reserves!
Our Keep it in the Ground for Peace campaign has identified many places in the world where neighbouring countries are in conflict over areas of land or sea where fossil fuel reserves have been found. We are working to promote peace – and leave those fossils in the ground where they belong.
The Paris Agreement has a big contradiction. It wishes to limit the warming of our planet to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But it does not mention the fact that to achieve this goal, most of the fossil fuels not yet extracted must remain in the ground. Instead, a large part of governments are promoting projects to increase the extraction of coal, oil and gas.
It is now scientifically proven that we cannot emit more than about 500 gigatons of CO2 if we want to avoid climate catastrophe. But the fossil fuel reserves amount to 2900 gigatons of CO2. This means 84% of these fossil fuels (more than 2400 gigatons) can’t be burned. But so far no one has promised to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Fossil fuels are so important that many countries are even prepared to go to war to grab them. We did some research and have compiled a list of cases of conflict over fossil fuel reserves, finding an unexpectedly large number. Because of fossil fuels we are destroying our planet and we are destabilizing the peace of our world. If we want to save our future we must end this!
So we decided to launch a campaign called Keep it in the Ground for Peace. We are mobilizing people in the countries involved in these disputes to convince governments to leave fossil fuels in the ground, thus promoting the resolution of the climate crisis and also building a more peaceful and cooperative world. See for example the letter sent to the president and prime minister of Madagascar or the letter to the French president below.
We are currently building a network of young people from affected countries. As part of Break Free 2016 we kicked off the campaign with young people around the world taking their photos in support of the campaign with their national flags.
The Keep it in the Ground for Peace campaign is part of the activities of Climate Strike 2016.