Thursday 10 September 2015 at 17:11Muslim Climate Action Launches
Muslim communities in the UK are being urged to take action and join a global call to action on climate change, which is being backed by the UK Energy Minister Lord Bourne.
A group of UK Muslim organisations, concerned at the growing threat of climate change to overcoming poverty, have formed a coalition - Muslim Climate Action (MCA) - launched at the House of Commons this Tuesday. UK Energy Minister Lord Bourne delivered the keynote speech at the launch event, which was hosted by Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.
“Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face and I welcome the commitment of community-oriented organisations such as Muslim Climate Action Group to tackle it proactively. We are determined to take action on climate change in a way that keeps consumer bills down and encourages businesses to innovate, grow and create jobs and we will be pushing for the first ever global agreement to cut emissions later this year in Paris,” says Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Wales Office.
A growing section of Muslims are getting involved in climate change issues in the run up to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris in December.
“The poorest people in the world, including Muslim communities, are paying a price for the actions of richer nations, polluting the atmosphere with high carbon emissions. As British Muslims, we need to take action by changing the way we use energy in our day to day lives,” says Sarah Javaid, chair of Muslim Climate Action.
The MCA is urging Islamic scholars, community leaders and activists to act as ‘stewards’ of the earth as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad and to incorporate environmentally friendly teachings in mosques, schools and educational institutions around the UK.
“Climate change not only affects [those] in the UK, but also many vulnerable communities around the world. Drought and flash floods have affected millions in the global south causing severe hunger and poverty. As British Muslims we need to play our part in tackling one of the most dangerous threats facing humanity today,” says Lotifa Begum, Global Campaigns Coordinator at Islamic Relief.
Journalist and activist Remona Aly chaired the event and other speakers included: Dr Fazlun Khalid, Founder and Director of the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science and Asad Rehman, Senior Campaigner at Friends of the Earth.
The highlight of the event was the showcasing of the ‘green torch’ that will travel to various mosques throughout England.
Once the baton arrives, Imams commit to delivering a sermon enlightening people how they can join the fight against climate change and to help protect it. Islamic leaders are being encouraged to make Mosques more environmentally friendly by using solar energy, for example, and recycling.
The MCA launch event follows the recent International Declaration on Climate Change last month, where coalition members including Islamic Relief and the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences (IFEES), played a pivotal role in coordinating the event with Muslim leaders around the world demanding action on climate change by Muslim countries.
"Why Do Muslims Care About Climate Change?"Funded by the European Union, via Bond, as part of the European Year of Development, the launch event intends to serve as a launch-pad for longer-term work to build a strong network of UK diaspora Muslim leaders, organisations and community members to continue to be active around the environment for years to come in collaboration with others, such as the Climate Coalition and people of other faiths.
The MCA involves the following organisations in the UK; Global One, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science (IFEES), Islamic Relief UK, MADE and Muslim Charities Forum.
Header Image by Faizal Malek