Ten Nobel Peace Laureates — including Jody Williams and Archbishop Desmond Tutu — have written to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry urging them to reject the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline “once and for all.”
Since their last letter, in September of 2011, the risks of the oil sands and threats of dangerous climate change have become even clearer. Recent tar sands oil spills occurred in Kalamazoo, MI and Mayflower, AR, serving as a harsh reminder that shipping the world’s dirtiest oil is harmful to human health and the environment, both in the short term and long term.
In the Canadian context, Alberta’s oil sands are Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution and emissions are projected to double over the next seven years. The International Energy Agency, among others, has found the expansion of the oil sands is consistent with the pathway to global warming of six degrees centigrade. This figure is well above the two degree catastrophic limit outlined by many scientists.
The letter reminds the President and Secretary of State that,
“Climate change threatens all of us, but it is the world’s most vulnerable who are already paying for developed countries’ failure to act with their lives and livelihoods. This will only become more tragic as impacts become worse and conflicts are exacerbated as precious natural resources, like water and food, become more and more scarce. Inaction will cost hundreds of millions of lives—and the death toll will only continue to rise.”
The President and Secretary Kerry are leaders who have spoken out against Keystone in the past. The Laureates urge both officials to focus on building the safe, clean, and renewable energy future that the world deserves.
Read the press release and full letter here.
Peace Laureates Urge EU Heads of State: No Tar Sands Oil, Nobel Women’s Initiative.
The Devil in the Tar Sands, Project Syndicate, November 7, 2011.
Sign an open letter calling on President Obama to stop the Keystone XL pipeline here.