An Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change was recently issued by the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium. Citing the authority of scientific research and of passages from the Qur’an, the Declaration urges world nations to “Aim to phase out greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible . . .”
It also reminds “all Muslims wherever they may be . . . bear in mind the words of our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): The world is sweet and verdant, and verily Allah has made you stewards in it, and He sees how you acquit yourselves.”
The Symposium convened to “seek broad unity and ownership from the Islamic community around the Declaration” in hopes that Muslim nations will make emissions-cutting pledges prior to December’s Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). An additional aim of the Symposium was to promote inter-faith cooperation on climate issues. Symposium partners and collaborators include GreenFaith, the Climate Action Network International, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Although the Declaration, like Pope Francis’s recent Encyclical Letter on the environment and the Evangelical Environmental Network’s Public Letter on Clean Power Plan, is a positive step in generating support for global climate change action, it’s unclear how much impact it will have. According to informedComment, most of the Symposium delegates may have little authority in the Muslim secular and religious worlds; the only leader of the Shiite faith who attended was from the U.S.; and representation from Middle East oil-producing states was minimal.