This summer the planet once again experienced record temperatures, droughts, wildfires and extreme weather events. Nevertheless, according to a recent report by the International Energy Agency and OECD, global public subsidies of fossil fuel subsidies nearly doubled from 2020 to $700b in 2021. The US economy still remains significantly dependent on coal use; it generates approx. 20% of the country’s power or almost twice as much as the electricity generated by wind and solar. (To compare in the UK, 1.5% of power production is coal-fired.) Though the planet is currently projected to warm to well over 2.5C this century, per a recent report by United in Science global warming has already reached the lower end of five end game negative climate tipping points. (Think, for example, a collapsing Greenland ice sheet.) This finding led the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to state, “the report shows climate impacts heading into uncharted territory of destruction,” what he termed climate carnage.
During this 33-minute interview Dr. Miller begins by discussing the work of the Global Climate and Health Alliance. She goes on to discuss the impetus for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty, identifies organizations that have signed on including the World Health Organization, analogizes the treaty to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, discusses what role the UN may play in forwarding a non-proliferation treaty, and what we currently know about what if any interest the White House and HHS are receptive to a non-proliferation treat. We conclude with Dr. Miller's interpretation of why only a trivial fraction, as low as 1%, of Americans believe the climate crisis is the most important problem facing the country.
Dr. Jeni Miller is Executive Director of the Global Climate and Health Alliance, where she coordinates the joint efforts of national, regional and international health organizations addressing climate change. The Alliance works to minimize the health impacts of climate change and to maximize the health benefits of climate solutions, through leadership, advocacy, policy, research, and engagement. On behalf of the Alliance, Dr. Miller co-chairs the WHO-Civil Society Working Group on Climate and Health. In addition to her work at GCHA, Dr. Miller currently serves as Immediate-Past-Chair of the Environment Section of the American Public Health Association. She has two decades’ experience working on policy- and systems-change strategies to improve community environments for health, in leading initiatives addressing childhood asthma, childhood obesity, climate change, health equity, and healthy community redevelopment. Dr. Miller received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.
The Global Climate and Health Alliance's related article is at: https://climateandhealthalliance.org/press-releases/international-health-organizations-call-for-fossil-fuel-non-proliferation-treaty-to-protect-lives-of-current-and-future-generations/.
The fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty website is at: https://fossilfueltreaty.org/.