Human-made global warming is occurring, and is presenting very serious risks to people, says Islamic Relief.
Islamic Relief has launched its latest publication, which outlines its commitments and position on the climate change debate.
Its Climate Change Policy states Islamic Relief’s support for the United Nations target of keeping the average rise in the surface temperature of Earth to less than 2C above the levels of the pre-industrial period. It also sets out its commitment to advocate for industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions urgently and support other countries to do the same.
Islamic Relief believes investment and research into truly sustainable energy sources is needed, but that the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy should not happen at the expense of reducing poverty. On the contrary, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction are interlinked and integral to future sustainable development planning and practice. As such, it is committed to a strategy and programmes that address the resilience of communities to future climate change.
The document sets out its commitment to promoting the conservation of natural habitats, recognising that forests and other habitats play an important role in reducing carbon and greenhouse gases.
Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kamo, senior policy advisor for poverty reduction, said: “Human well being does not depend on material wealth alone. Islam teaches us that humans should be in unity with all creation. There are climate change consequences for ecosystems and wildlife, with floods, droughts, the retreat of mountain glaciers, and changes to migratory patterns all clear signs of the impact already being felt.
“This policy provides guidance for Islamic Relief moving forward so we can maximise our work on redressing climate change and can support those who suffer the most in our already changing climate.”
Our work already reflects our growing commitment to tackling climate change. In Sudan, for example, Islamic Relief helped construct two large rainwater harvesting reservoirs to provide the community with clean water year-round as well as cultivate irrigated vegetables. In Bangladesh, Islamic Relief helped establish disaster management committees made up of community volunteers to prepare, execute and evaluate contingency plans. In Pakistan, solar panels provided electricity to homes and wind mills powered borehole pumps.
Many faith organisations share concerns over climate change, and Islamic Relief is committed to working with people of all faith and of no faith to achieve impact at global, regional, national, and sub-national levels.
Committed to being part of the solution, Islamic Relief will further work to reduce its own carbon footprint, reducing travel, investing in technologies to replace the need for travel, and exploring the option of an offset scheme for the emissions that cannot be reduced.