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Muslim scholars may hold one of the keys to tackling climate change

Given how influential religion can be, and is, particularly in some countries, companies, policy makers and others, should pay attention to this new piece of research.

The authors, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), a UK-based charity, have created “…a draft declaration on climate change to be launched officially at a major Islamic symposium in Istanbul in mid-August.world-heart

Allah, says the declaration, created the world in mizan (balance), but through fasad (corruption), human beings have caused climate change, together with a range of negative effects on the environment that include deforestation, the destruction of biodiversity, and pollution of the oceans and of water systems.”

The ClimateNewsNetwork article which brings this to our attention, goes on to say that:

“The draft declaration – which is still being worked on by various Muslim academics around the world – says that, in particular, wealthy oil-producing countries must “refocus their concerns from profit to the environment and to the poor of the world”. Saudi Arabia, where Mecca is located, is one of the world’s leading oil-producing countries.”

Of course, we’ve been here before. I remember some excitement a few years go when there was speculation that the religious right, highly influential in the US, could be persuaded that climate change is man changing the earth in the face of God’s will.

That hasn’t stopped the conservatives and ultra conservatives from trying to stop almost any kind of environmental regulation related to carbon emissions and global warming.

But that doesn’t mean NGOs, governments, company lobby groups and firms themselves, shouldn’t take this seriously. Religion is key in big oil producing states around the world, and in others, such as Indonesia, where deforestation is a key cause of greenhouse gas emission rises.

The question here is: What can all these above mentioned groups do to legitimately and credibly spread the word of the work of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences outside the UK, where the message matters so much more?

I can think of lots of things. Perhaps some business lobby groups, companies and others, may want to do the same.

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