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Pope Francis Isn't the Only Religious Leader Calling for Action on Climate Change

Muslim leaders from 20 countries say that governments should rapidly phase out fossil fuels and convert to 100 percent renewable energy development.
Imagen vía EPA

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Islamic leaders from twenty countries announced on Tuesday a declaration urging governments around the world to secure an international agreement on combating climate change this December when diplomats convene in Paris.

The document, called the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, provides a moral basis for the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to act on global warming much the same way Pope Francis is encouraging the world's Catholics to put pressure on governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to cultivate environmentally conscious ways of living.


"The pace of global climate change today is of a different order of magnitude from the gradual changes that previously occurred throughout the most recent era," the document reads. "Moreover, it is human-induced: we have now become a force dominating nature. The epoch in which we live has increasingly been described in geological terms as the Anthropocene, or 'Age of Humans.'"

Related: Pope Francis Says Earth Is Beginning to Look Like an 'Immense Pile of Filth'

The declaration emerged from a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey of Muslim leaders, including the Grand Muftis of Uganda and Lebanon, senior United Nations officials, scientists, NGO leaders, and academics. It calls for keeping global temperature rise preferably within 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Age levels by rapidly phasing out fossil fuel use and converting to 100 percent renewable energy generation.

Indonesia is home to the world's largest Muslim population and Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulema, welcomed the declaration.

"The climate crisis needs to be tackled through collaborative efforts, so let's work together for a better world for our children, and our children's children," he said in a statement.

Wael Hmaidan, the director of Climate Action Network - International, said the declaration could be a "game changer" because it challenges world leaders to cut carbon emissions and develop renewable sources "to tackle climate change, reduce poverty, and deliver sustainable development around the world."

The declaration calls on all groups, including those of other faiths, to collaborate, cooperate, and engage in "friendly competition" to push for action on climate change.

Related: There Are Still Tons of People Around the World Who Haven't Heard About Climate Change