Islamic leaders' call for climate action praised by global campaigners

James Phillips

Religious leaders and environmental campaigners welcome call for Muslims to push for greater action on climate change

More than 1.6 billion Muslims have been called upon to urge governments to reach an agreement at December's Paris Climate Change Summit, after Islamic leaders today unveiled a new Climate Change Declaration in Istanbul.

The declaration, which was trailed last week, argues Muslims have a moral duty to prevent climate change, calls for a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy, and urges Muslim business leaders to tackle the root causes of climate change in their workplaces.

The statement was unveiled at a symposium in the Turkish capital earlier this morning and has been hailed by religious leaders and environmental campaigners worldwide.

"I am proud to be associated with the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change released in Istanbul today," said Dr Saleemul Huq, director of the Institute of Environmental Studies. "As a Muslim, I try to follow the moral teachings of Islam to preserve the environment and help the victims of climate change. I urge all Muslims around the world to play their role in tackling the global problem of climate change."

Meanwhile, Christina Figueres, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said Islam's teachings provide "guidance" for those attempting to tackle escalating climate risks.

"A clean-energy, sustainable future for everyone ultimately rests on a fundamental shift in the understanding of how we value the environment and each other," she said. "Islam's teachings, which emphasise the duty of humans as stewards of the Earth and the teacher's role as an appointed guide to correct behaviour, provide guidance to take the right action on climate change."

The move could prove particularly significant as it is likely to increase pressure on a number of oil-producing Gulf states to sign up to an ambitious global emissions reduction deal.

The declaration comes just two months after the Pope delivered his annual encyclical, which called on Catholic citizens to push for an international climate deal later this year and particularly emphasised the effects of climate change on developing nations.

Mohamed Adow, senior climate change adviser for international development charity Christian Aid, said it was vital that all faiths join the global effort to tackle climate change and press political leaders to deliver an ambitious new climate treaty.

"Coming on the heels of the Pope's encyclical it is great to see Christians and Muslims uniting to tackle a common enemy," he said. "Climate change will affect people of all faiths and the world's poor in particular. As both faiths have a long tradition of caring for those in poverty, it is right that they make tackling climate change a priority. It is imperative that people of faith bring their voice into the global climate talks."

More on Politics

Credit: iStock

Poll: Climate change top issue for British public, trumping concerns over Covid-19 and Brexit

Results of latest Ipsos Mori poll published as COP26 President Sharma pledges the UK will work to ensure all countries signed up to new Glasgow Climate Pact honour their promises

Cecilia Keating
clock 24 November 2021 • 4 min read
Hattie Park Sustainability Manager - The All England Lawn Tennis Club

Net Zero Culture Spotlight: Hattie Park, the All England Lawn Tennis Club

VIDEO: Sustainability manager for the organisation which holds the Wimbledon tennis championships chats to BusinessGreen ahead of the Net Zero Culture summit

BusinessGreen staff
clock 23 November 2021 • 1 min read
New analysis finds 10% of business premises built between 2008 and 2018 will be exposed to high or medium level flood risk by the 2050s

'Blind spot': How today's decisions could be setting smaller businesses on a path towards worsening climate risks

A new report finds that failure to implement climate resilience measures now can place businesses on irreversible trajectories towards disastrous physical climate impacts

clock 23 November 2021 • 6 min read