Launching its updated Climate Change Policy this week, Islamic Relief Worldwide has reiterated its stark warning that bold and urgent action is needed to limit global warming and respond to the consequences of climate breakdown.

“Our climate policy speaks out on behalf of the poor and marginalised suffering from climate change across the world,” said Islamic Relief CEO Naser Haghamed, speaking at the policy’s launch event on Monday 11th February.

“We say that as a moral, social and environmental issue, mitigation of climate change demands an urgent and global response and change on an unprecedented scale.

“Limiting warming to 1.5°C is the most effective way to use resources. But there must also be investment where the consequences of climate breakdown are already being felt: in disaster risk management, adaptation and resilience building, and addressing loss and damage.”

Bold action needed now

Expressing the need for urgent action, Naser Haghamed echoed Swedish child activist Greta Thunberg’s cry that “Our house is on fire”. Thousands of schoolchildren worldwide are not attending school to take part in strikes pressurising world leaders to tackle climate change.

“Just the previous week, it was announced that 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record, the oceans are the warmest ever, the UK will average 1.5 degrees warming within five years, glaciers in the Himalayas are set to melt threatening water shortage for two billion people, and Islamic Relief was on alert as the government of Balochistan declared a drought emergency.”

Islamic Relief supports hardest hit communities

Islamic Relief is currently engaged in over 50 climate related relief and adaptation projects in more than 14 countries.

Talanoa Dialogues organised by Islamic Relief in 11 countries sent messages to governments and the UN that adaptation to climate change needs to be tackled by the people who know their situation best. The duty of government is to help them plan and carry out the necessary work.

Emphasising that Islamic Relief must also continue to strive to do more, our CEO added:

“We must make sure that we are doing everything to limit our own greenhouse gas emissions, with continuously improving environmental performance integral to our business strategy and operating methods.

“I am at Vision Works in April where the leaders of international civil society organisations will consider collaborative advocacy in the face of climate change.”

Our global climate change campaigning

Islamic Relief’s Climate Change policy

Islamic Relief campaigns worldwide to protect the planet and its people from the devastating impacts of climate change.

At next month’s UN Environment Assembly, we will present on our climate and consumption work in East Africa. We will also engage with the UN secretary general’s climate summit and UN Climate Change conference later in the year.

The Islamic Relief Climate Change policy recognises climate change as one of the greatest issues humanity faces, and sets out the far-reaching response that is needed.