|Photo credit: Islamic Relief Worldwide.|
By Anders Lorenzen
With its newly unveiled Declaration on Global Climate Change group, the Islamic faith community has become the latest religious group to call for serious action on climate change.
The group consists of top academics both in and outside the Islamic faith community. At a conference in Istanbul, Turkey this month they launched their declaration on climate change, which stated that although the Earth’s climate has always been in transition, the current pace of warming is unprecedented.
Only a few months ago, the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, released his much anticipated encyclical on the environment and called for serious action on climate change.
The Declaration references we now live in the ‘age of the anthropocene’ (the age of humans) and that many other species are suffering from humanity’s imposition on the natural world. It talks of fossil fuel as a ‘gift’ which now threatens to destroy other gifts, like a functioning climate, clean and healthy air, regular seasons and healthy oceans.
Its also references climate change’s link to rising extreme weather events like heat waves, extreme precipitation and coastal flooding, says that the risks are unevenly distributed and greater for poor and disadvantaged communities and stresses that the impacts will adversely affect biodiversity, ecosystems and our overall global economy.
Whilst a large part of the Islamic world produces a large part of the world’s fossil fuel, mainly oil and gas, the same regions regularly suffer from the impacts of climate change. We recently wrote about a devastating drought in Pakistan which sadly took over 1,000 lives. There is also evidence to support that the tragic civil war in Syria was caused by a four year drought in the region. The terrorist organisation Al Qaeda even once sounded the alarm on climate change and the impacts it would have on the islamic world.
The Declaration calls for an urgent and ambitious climate change deal at this years crucial UN COP21 climate summit in Paris, in which developing countries take the majority of the responsibility for halting the damage of climate change.
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