Fossil fuels should no longer be extracted, refined, burned or combined with other compounds, whether in products or as fuel, states the "Keep It in the Ground" report prepared by Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and 350.org.
"With the historic climate accord set in Paris last year, nearly 200 nations from around the world set an expiration date for fossil fuels," said Lena Moffitt, director of the Sierra Club's Beyond Dirty Fuels campaign. "Now we must rise to the occasion by transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy sources, and leave dirty fuels where they belong-in the ground."
To mitigate the effects of an ongoing environmental catastrophe, greenhouse gas emissions in China, the US, Russia and the Arctic must be limited, and coal and oil reserves "must all remain unused," the study stressed.
One measure to begin the end of fossil fuel use, stated by executive director of the Sierra Club Michael Brune, suggests that, "Instead of blindly allowing destructive fracking to continue in our communities, we should extend statewide fracking bans, like the one in New York, and moratoriums, like the one in Maryland, that will keep dirty, climate-polluting fossil fuels like fracked gas in the ground and invest in truly clean, renewable sources of energy that don't come with the threat of poisoned drinking water and climate disaster."
350.org executive director May Boeve echoed Brune's assertions, adding that it's crucial to stop burning fossil fuels, and prevent fossil fuel companies from expanding oil and gas exploration and extraction.
"At this point, continuing to burn fossil fuels is truly lethal," Boeve said. "The effort by fossil fuel companies to dig up and burn coal, oil and gas despite the consequences is the biggest threat our planet faces. All around the world people are now mobilizing to keep fossil fuels in the ground."
"Climate change is already bringing flood waters and wildfires right to our doorsteps," she added.
Greenpeace U.S. climate director Kelly Mitchell stressed the necessity of a coordinated global effort to leave fossil fuels in the ground, especially in areas, "from Arctic oil to Powder River Basin coal."
"We can't undo the damage that fossil fuel companies have caused already, but we can prevent further harm and build a more just world in the process," Mitchell said. "Our lives depend on it."