Following an international symposium, Islamic leaders are calling on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to work toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and adopt a 100 percent renewable energy strategy. This move follows a trend of world religious leaders urging devotees to focus on environmental issues as part of their larger commitment to faith. Religious leaders are hoping to inspire government leaders to take action, but with the much-needed support of individual citizens.

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This plea comes out the recent International Islamic Climate Change symposium held in Istanbul last week, which was attended by prominent Islamic scholars and teachers from 20 countries, in addition to the highest religious officials of Lebanon and Uganda – a position known as the ‘grand mufti.’ The attendees issued a collective statement summarizing their concerns and demands, which include an expectation for “well-off nations and oil-producing states to lead the way in phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions” no later than 2050.

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As the clock marches on toward the Paris climate summit this December, various world leaders have spoken out against fossil fuels, and urged nations to adopt stringent goals for reducing GHG emissions. Of Middle Eastern countries, Morocco is so far the only nation that has done so, promising a 32 percent reduction by 2030. Authors of the document out of the symposium are hopeful that this move will place additional pressure on those attending the United Nations talks in December, and inspire global solutions to the problems of fossil fuel reliance, especially in poor countries where infrastructure changes come with prohibitive costs.

This is not unlike the recent efforts of Pope Francis, who asked the 1.2 billion Catholics on earth to join the fight against climate change. Morocco’s environment minister Hakima el-Haite believes that religious appeals may prove effective in drumming up support for official policies. “It is an emotive call for a spiritual fight against climate change that will be very important for Muslims,” she told the Guardian. “It speaks to issues of fairness, accountability, differentiation and adaptation in the Paris agreement.”

Via The Guardian

Images via Shutterstock and Islamic Relief