Islamic scholars call for action on climate change

A declaration by Islamic scholars calls on global leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and suggests that Muslims have a religious duty to tackle climate change.

The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, drawn up by a group of academics, Muslim scholars and international environment policy experts, was announced recently at a symposium on Islam and climate change in Istanbul. It calls on the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels and switch instead to clean energy from renewable sources.

The statements reiterates the now well documented rise in global average surface temperatures since the industrial revolution and attributes this increase to excessive burning of fossil fuels.

It states that:
“This current rate of climate change cannot be sustained, and the Earth’s fine equilibrium (mīzān) may soon be lost.”

The declaration laments the slow progress of international climate-change negotiations:
“It is alarming that in spite of all the warnings and predictions, the successor to the Kyoto Protocol which should have been in place by 2012, has been delayed.”

It calls on global leaders, who will be meeting in Paris this December, to come to an “equitable and binding conclusion” and commit to a 100 % renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy.

The Islamic declaration follows a similar call to action by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’ in June this year.

“All the faiths are talking about climate change,” says David Shreeve (via Nature), environmental advisor to the Church of England’s Archbishop’s Council. “It’s great that the Muslims are putting out a declaration, because whatever your faith, it’s a great opportunity for the faiths to stand up and say we really are concerned about this.”

The declaration ends with a reminder to all Muslims of a verse in the Qur’an –

وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِي الأَرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الأَرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً

Do not strut arrogantly on the earth.
You will never split the earth apart
nor will you ever rival the mountains’ stature.
Qur’an 17: 37

Read the full declaration here:


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