COP26 and the Climate — The Nuclear Disarmament Nexus

November 5th, 2021 - by UNFOLD ZERO


 (November 3, 2021) — As governments and civil society meet in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), UNFOLD ZERO joins with our partner organizations to promote the Climate-Nuclear Nexus.

The Climate-Nuclear Nexus highlights the connections between the climate crisis and the threat from nuclear weapons, advances policy solutions to address both threats, and builds cooperation between legislators, experts and civil society movements working on these two issues.

ACTION ALERT: Support the Global Appeal
To ‘Move the Nuclear Weapons Money’

Invest in Renewable Energy Instead of Endless, Unwinnable Wars

UNFOLD ZERO, an international coalition promoting United Nations initiatives for nuclear disarmament, is circulating Protect People and the Planet: An Appeal for a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, and seeking endorsements prior to it being presented to the United Nations during Disarmament Week (October 24-30, 2021).

The appeal calls on cities, parliaments and governments to adopt immediate measures to prevent a nuclear war such as the adoption of no-first-use policies, commit to achieving the global elimination of nuclear weapons no later than the 100th anniversary of the UN (2045), and to re-direct nuclear weapons budgets and investments to instead support public health, COVID-19 recovery, the climate and sustainable development.

Since being launched on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, September 26, 2020, the appeal has gathered endorsements from legislators (mayors and parliamentarians), scientists, religious leaders, former military leaders, civil society leaders, youth and others around the world.

The presentation of the appeal to the United Nations will help build support for UN General Assembly resolutions on nuclear disarmament, which are being considered for adoption during Disarmament Week.

The Petition: Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: Protect People and the Planet 

Global Appeal to end the nuclear threat, abolish nuclear weapons and shift the weapons budgets and investments to support public health, COVID-19 recovery, the climate and sustainable development.

The nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries threaten us all. Any use of these weapons by accident, miscalculation or malicious intent, would have catastrophic human, economic and environmental consequences. The use of just a small fraction of the 14,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s stockpiles could end civilization as we know it. In addition, the $100 billion spent annually on nuclear weapons is sorely needed for environmental, economic and human needs, including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the climate and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
We, the undersigned, call on our cities, parliaments and governments to:
1. Affirm that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and therefore the nuclear armed States should stand down their nuclear forces and affirm policies never to initiate a nuclear war (no-first-use policies);
2. Commit to the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2045, the 100th anniversary of the United Nations;
3. Cut nuclear weapons budgets (if they are a nuclear-weapon State), end investments in the nuclear weapons industry (all governments), and redirect these investments and budgets to support the United Nations, COVID-19 management and recovery, drastic reductions in carbon emissions to protect the climate, and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

ACTION: Endorse here

Quotes from Some of the Appeal Endorsers

How can the powerful nuclear club of nations waste money on their nuclear stockpiles when they cannot even provide something as basic as ventilators during Covid to their citizens? The new normal must be built on the basis of complete abolition of nuclear weapons. Only then can we truly build back better!
Kehkashan Basu (UAE/Canada), Founder/President, Green Hope Foundation. Winner of the Voices Youth Gorbachev-Shultz Legacy Award for Nuclear Disarmament

Appeals mattered for the abolition of slavery and gender and generation equality. So will this appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Johan Galtung (Norway). Transcend International. For Peace By Peaceful Means. Right Livelihood Laureate 1987.

This Appeal is to be constantly renewed until the 14 States with nuclear weapons on their territory initiate this transition towards the complete and final elimination of nuclear weapons: France, Great Britain, USA, Russia, China, India , Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and NATO countries Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey.
General (ret) Francis Lenne (France). Member of Initiatives pour le Désarmement Nucléaire, Mouvement de la Paix and ICAN.

Listen our Global Appeal to end the nuclear threat, abolish nuclear weapons and shift the weapons budgets and investments to support public health, COVID-19 recovery, the climate and sustainable development. It is time to promote a common civilizing project that despises the use of force and inhuman weapons. Get on the right side of history.
Laura Alonso Cano (Spain). President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).

This Appeal is crucial, especially in our divided and polarized world.
Elizabeth Shafer (USA). Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy

It is rational to reach the total elimination of all nuclear weapons globally by 2045.
Dr. Vladimir Kozin (Russia). Russian Academy of Military Sciences

To preserve our future, the world has no other way but disarmament and abolishment of all the nuclear stockpiles!!
Sergy Kasyanov (Ukraine). Director, Harvard Aerospace Alumni Organization

We should all do our utmost in abolishing nuclear weapons as citizens of the world and leave a brighter future for the coming generations.
Jasminka Bajlo (Croatia). City representative of Mayors for Peace

Although national security is widely perceived to depend on military strength, more weapons do not provide more security. Peace within and among nations depends in part on replacing ignorance and unjustified fears with mutual understanding and trust.
Representative Jasmine Krotkov (USA). Member of the Montana State Legislature

Today we face two great existential threat the threat of catastrophic climate change and the horror of a potential nuclear-war – We need a vision and a renew commitment to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.
Bianca Jagger (UK). Founder, President and Chief Executive, The Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.

At a time the world faces multiple upheavals including from the COVID-19 pandemic, weapons of mass destruction are totally abhorrent. Nuclear weapons are wasteful and having them should be seen as a criminal intent to wreak harms against humanity and the Planet. This is a time to build resilience, restore habitats and build harmonious relationships between nations and with Nature. Not a time to destroy!
Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria). Founder, Health of Mother Earth Foundation. Former Chair, Friends of the Earth International. Time Magazine Hero of the Environment 2009.

It’s time to end the terrible waste of money and resources spent on creating and maintaining nuclear weapons and redirect to where it’s needed most, to the health and welfare of people and the planet.
Misha Coleman (Australia). Mayor of Yarra City

As the use of nuclear weapons would be a crime against humanity and a violation of the principles and rules of international humanitarian law, any preparation for nuclear warfare constitutes a crime against the peace.
Meindert Stelling (Netherlands). President of the Dutch Foundation ‘Tribunal for Peace’.

Nuclear weapons are an existential threat to our survival as a species. Weapons don’t house us, don’t clothe us, don’t feed us, and don’t cure our diseases. We need to demand a transformation of priorities away from building bombs, and toward educating, feeding, housing, and healing our people.
Kelsey Zazanis (USA). CODEPINK: Women for Peace

When the power of love will be greater than the power of killing and weapons, the world will be a paradise.
Divina Maloum (Cameroon). Founder, Children for Peace. Winner 2019 International Children’s Peace Prize.

Our biggest threat is not Russia, China or USA but climate change, which places us all under the same risk. Stop investing in war, start investing in peace and prevention and especially in climate mitigation. Start fighting our common problem.
Dr Piet Jansen (Netherlands). NVMP/Artsen voor vrede – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

More quotes from endorsers

COP26 and the Climate — Nuclear Disarmament Nexus

UNFOLD / Climate-Nuclear Nexus

Connections between climate change and nuclear weapons/disarmament

The connections between climate change and nuclear weapons/disarmament include:

  • The impacts of climate change emissions and the use of nuclear weapons are trans-border and transgenerational. They cannot be contained in either time nor space – impacting globally and far into the future.
  • Neither issue can be resolved solely at national levels, but require international cooperation and the building of common security.
  • Climate change stimulates conflicts that could spill over into nuclear conflict, while any use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict would create catastrophic climatic consequences, compounding the current impact of climate change emissions. 
  • The human and financial resources currently devoted to nuclear weapons are desperately required to instead be invested to assist carbon emission reduction and climate stabilisation.   

Actions to advance the Climate – Nuclear Disarmament Nexus 

UNFOLD ZERO pays tribute to the World Future Council and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, who for over a decade have been advancing the Climate Nuclear Disarmament Nexus through publications, events, appeals and other actions. Publications include: 

Recent Events
Recent events on the Climate-Nuclear Nexus include: 

Climate-Nuclear-Nexus Appeals and Campaigns

The Climate-Nuclear Nexus also includes appeals and campaigns such as: 

  • Move the Nuclear Weapons Money which focuses on cutting nuclear weapons budgets, ending investments in the nuclear weapons industry, and re-directing these budgets and investments to support renewable energy, climate stabilisation and sustainable development;
  • Protect People and the Planet, an Appeal for a Nuclear Weapon Free World which calls for cutting nuclear weapons budgets and investments and redirecting these investments and budgets to support the United Nations, COVID-19 management and recovery, drastic reductions in carbon emissions to protect the climate, and financing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • International Court of Justice Climate Change campaign, which is working to take the issue of climate change to the ICJ inspired by the historic 1996 ICJ case on nuclear weapons.

For more information see the Climate Nuclear Nexus.