Plant Trees, Not Bombs: Environmentalists Join Call for Nuclear Abolition

January 23rd, 2021 - by Sierra Club Statement

Environmentalists Join Call for Nuclear Abolition

Sierra Club Statement

WASHINGTON, DC (January 20, 2021)  The Sierra Club embraces the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) “Entering into Force” January 22, 2021.

Sierra Club congratulates the United Nations, our affiliate the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICANW), and the fifty countries who have ratified the historic TPNW.

The Sierra Club has long called for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Sierra Club also calls on the new Administration and Congress to deny further funding for the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons or upgrades of existing warheads.

Endorsed by more than 120 nations, and ratified by more than fifty, The TPNW prohibits signatories from participating in, or assisting in any way, the engineering, manufacture, testing, deployment or transfer of nuclear weapons within their jurisdictions.

The legacy cost and environmental damage caused by the development of nuclear weapons from 1943 to the present is incalculable. The Congressional Government Accounting Office estimates the remediation of sites across the U.S. associated with nuclear weapons production at $505 billion. This cost could easily double to one trillion dollars, as the GAO’s Office of Legacy Management adds more nuclear weapons production sites to its list. Some sites like Rocky Flats, CO or Hanford Site, WA, will never be reclaimed.

In response, Sierra Club Nuclear Policy Director John Coequyt released the following statement:

“The Sierra Club looks forward to this landmark international treaty coming into full effect, and continues to urge all nations to work towards the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide.” 

The Sierra Club joins the following organizations in hailing the TPNW:

•   International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

•   Physicians for Social Responsibility

•   International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

•   Nuclear Ban U.S.

•   Back from the Brink

•   Union of Concerned Scientists

•   Savannah River Watch

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

Invitation To The UN and Nuclear Abolition Event on January 25 

#WeThePeoples2020 Appeal

We thank you for supporting the Protect People and the Planet, Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, the appeal launched by #Wethepeoples2020.

The appeal has been endorsed by over 700 representatives of civil society including parliamentarians, mayors, former military leaders, youth, religious leaders, academics, former UN and government officials, heads of nongovernmental organizations and leading human rights & peace activists.

It will be sent to governments on January 24, and presented to the United Nations on January 25 as part of The UN and Nuclear Disarmament, a commemorative event for the 75th anniversary of UN Resolution 1 (1), which established the global goal for the elimination of nuclear weapons. 

The event takes place in the context of the entry-into-force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the inauguration of a new US administration that could make a difference on nuclear disarmament. For additional background, see Nuclear Ban Treaty and UN Resolution 1 (1).

Please click here to register for the event.

January 25 event speakers:

  • H.E. Ms Tatiana ValovayaDirector-General of the UN in Geneva, Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament, Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to the CD;
  • Hon Ms Maria Fernanda EspinosaMember of the World Future Council. President of the 73rd UN General Assembly. Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science;
  • Dr Randy RydellExecutive Adviser, Mayors for Peace. Former senior political affairs officer at the UN Office of Disarmament Affairs;
  • Ms Kehkashan BasuMember of the World Future Council. Founder of Green Hope Foundation, UN Human Rights Champion, Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize & Winner of the First-Ever Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for Nuclear Disarmament;
  • Ms Vanda Proskova, Co-convenor of Youth Fusion, Vice-Chair of PragueVision Institute for Sustainable Security, Co-moderator of #wethepeoples2020, Global civil society youth speaker for the 2020 UN High Level Meeting on the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.