(CNN) As the world’s most powerful leaders prepare to come together for the President Joe Biden’s virtual climate summit, the Dalai Lama and 100 other Nobel Prize winners have a clear message for them: Keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The 101 Nobel laureates have written to Biden and those attending the meeting on Thursday, urging them to take concrete steps to phase out fossil fuels in order to prevent catastrophic climate change.
“The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for almost 80% of carbon dioxide emissions since the industrial revolution,” the letter, shared exclusively with CNN, says, adding: “Allowing the continued expansion of this industry is unconscionable.”
The signatories make it clear they believe it is up to the summit’s attendees to act. “Leaders, not industry, hold the power and have the moral responsibility to take bold actions to address this crisis,” they say.
The laureates outline three steps they say world leaders need to take: put an end to any further expansion of oil, gas and coal production; phase out existing fossil fuel production in a manner that is fair and equitable and invest heavily in the global transition to renewable energy.