Muslim scholars and environmental activists have adopted a declaration calling for the phase-out of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.
Participants from nearly 20 countries made the declaration in a seminar organized by the Britain-based Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences together with the Islamic Relief charity in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Tuesday.
The declaration urged rich and oil-producing countries to lead the way in stopping greenhouse gas emissions “no later than the middle of the century.”
“I think this declaration will incentivize ambitious actions and spur the Muslim world, especially the oil producing countries,” said Mohamed Adow, a Kenyan advocate for climate action who attended the seminar.
Participants in the seminar also urged the international community to take strong action against global warming and greenhouse gas emissions, the main sources of which are believed to be the burning of oil, coal and gas.
Certain major oil-producing countries, including Saudi Arabia, have resisted the initiative by climate activists to stop using fossil fuels.
A Saudi representative at climate talks organized by the United Nations (UN) in Lima last year said that the idea of phasing out fossil fuels in the near term is unrealistic.
“It’s not something that has great support in the Arab world,” said Saleemul Huq of the International Institute of Environment and Development, adding, “We are trying to move the needle in the other direction and persuade the Saudis that it is the right thing.”
The declaration comes ahead of a crucial conference by the UN from November 30 to December 11 this year on the ways to tackle global warming.
Negotiators from 46 countries discussed global warming in July during a conference, dubbed the Paris Summit of Conscience for the Climate, which aimed to pave the way for a world pact to beat global warming.
The United Nations reportedly aims to curb global warming to two degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, which is the threshold for dangerous climate impacts