Islamic leaders from 20 nations called for the phaseout of greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and for 100 percent of energy to come from renewables in an effort to rein in more dangerous levels of global warming.
The clerics and scholars appealed to “well-off nations and oil-producing states” to recognize their “moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the Earth’s non-renewable resources,” according to the declaration e-mailed Tuesday from Istanbul.
“The climate crisis needs to be tackled through collaborative efforts so let’s work together for a better world for our children and our children’s children,” Din Syamsuddin, chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, said in a statement e-mailed by the Climate Action Network of non-governmental organizations.
With envoys from some 190 nations preparing to broker a new deal to curb climate change in December at a United Nations conference in Paris, NGOs, scientists and religious groups are stressing the need for actions to arrest the rise in temperatures since industrialization. The Islamic leaders on Tuesday urged a limit for warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) or, “preferably,” 1.5 degrees.
“To chase after unlimited economic growth in a planet that is finite and already overloaded is not viable,” the group said. “Growth must be pursued wisely and in moderation; placing a priority on increasing the resilience of all, and especially the most vulnerable, to the climate-change impacts already under way and expected to continue.”
The statement quoted from the Koran and was addressed to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. It echoes a June encyclical released by Pope Francis, spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, which urged drastic cuts in fossil-fuel emissions to combat the planet’s “spiral of self-destruction.”
The declaration was released at a two-day meeting in Turkey coordinated by three religious-environmental groups: the charities Islamic Relief Worldwide and the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and GreenFaith, an interfaith coalition of religious groups working to protect the environment.