This World Environment Day, Islamic Relief is calling on supporters to join us in working to #beatairpollution.
Our Climate Change Policy, quoting the ground-breaking Islamic Declaration on Climate Change, asks:
“What will future generations say of us who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy? Excessive pollution from fossil fuels threatens to destroy the gifts bestowed on us by God – gifts such as a functioning climate, healthy air to breathe, regular seasons, and living oceans”.
The dangers of air pollution
Smoke and fumes cause discomfort, coughing, stinging eyes and nausea. Two gases that we can’t see, ozone and nitrogen oxides, are particularly hazardous. Aeroallergens such as plant pollen and moulds threaten the health of vulnerable people, especially children.
Each of these dangers are made much worse by the sort of weather conditions resulting from climate change. Dust, allergens, soot, water vapour, and other particles and gases in the atmosphere are constantly interacting and forming new mixtures with the influence of heat and sun.
Higher temperatures and lower rainfall worsen air quality.
There are ways of reducing the dangers of air pollution especially by monitoring air quality to warn people when to reduce outdoor activities. Filters and de-humidifiers and house plants can help protect homes. An Islamic Relief initiative in Bangladesh’s capital city, one of the world’s worst for air pollution, is helping residents to improve air quality through rooftop gardening.
But it is critical that we also act to reduce air pollution.
Act now to tackle air pollution
Islamic Relief’s Climate Change Policy: Understanding & Responding notes that many “social problems could be solved should world leaders de-emphasise growth in Gross Domestic Product in favour of quality-of-life indicators. This profound change in focus would align with recommendations by ecological economists and pathways set out in Islam”.
You can help:
- If celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, which coincides with World Environment Day this year, consider buying only what you need – this will minimise air pollution and climate change.
- Use public transportation, cycle or walk, and share car rides where possible.
- Avoid burning rubbish.
- Organise a tree planting activity or litter picking event with your community.
- Ask your local authorities to provide timely, regular air quality data and petition for legislation to control the worst polluters.
Islamic Relief is committed to addressing the causes of climate change. We are helping find sustainable energy alternatives, transportation, agricultural activities and livelihoods.
We support local and government efforts to develop climate friendly policies and work with some of the most vulnerable people in the world to help them adapt to the effects of climate change.