Muslim leaders call community to climate change action

Today, the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium released a declaration calling the officials of “well-off and oil-producing” Islamic countries to make plans to address climate change as quickly as possible.

The symposium, made up of 60 Islamic leaders brought together from across the globe, has made this declaration as a lead-up to the historic COP21 climate conference which will take place in Paris this November. Countries big and small, democratic and non-democratic, industrialized and non-industrialized, have made pledges and goals to tackle the issue of climate change, which threatens the lives of everyone on the planet.

The crux of the declaration is an impassioned call for using 100% renewable energy as soon as possible, and “re-focus[ing] their concerns from unethical profit from the environment, to that of preserving it and elevating the condition of the world’s poor”.

The declaration appears to take a page from Pope Francis’s environmentally-focused encyclical “Laudato Si” released in June, which espoused the Pope’s view that environmental justice and raising people out of poverty should be the Catholic community’s utmost priority in the new millenium. The Vatican is delighted to hear of the Islamic community’s commitment, and has endorsed their declaration.

Wael Hmaidan, international director for the Climate Action Network, said of the declaration: “Civil society is delighted by this powerful climate declaration coming from the Islamic community, which could be a game-changer”. CAN was paying close attention to the two-day symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, as the leaders were developing their action plan.

Read the full declaration here.