Islamic declaration on climate change calls on support from all leaders

On Tuesday, Muslim leaders and scholars from 20 countries created a joint declaration that calls on all Muslims and all nations across the globe to address climate change while at a conference in Istanbul.

“Our species, though selected to be a caretaker or steward (khalifah) on the earth, has been the cause of such corruption and devastation on it,” the statement says, according to the Washington Post.

The group of supporters of the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change included the grand muftis (highest authorities in religious law) of Uganda and Lebanon as well as government representatives from Morocco and Turkey.

The conference was the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul. It was sponsored by Islamic Relief Worldwide, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences and GreenFaith.

President Obama’s announcement of a Clean Power Plan on August 3 has stirred up many talks and actions around climate change. Obama’s plan is requiring states to reduce carbon emissions from coal power plants starting in 2017 and is an overall precursor to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Climate Change this December.

The declaration is backed by climate change research and is calling leaders to action. It is encouraging those attending the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to express clear goals as well as calling on wealthy and oil-producing nations to lead the change in curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. As for the call to action for all nations across the globe, it is requesting a commitment to100 percent renewable energy or a zero emissions plan.

The declaration not only quotes Islamic text, but it acknowledges the pivotal role of all religious communities.

“We call on all groups to join us in collaboration, co-operation and friendly competition in this endeavor and we welcome the significant contributions taken by other faiths, as we can all be winners in this race,” the statement says. “If we each offer the best of our respective traditions, we may yet see a way through our difficulties.”

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