This year, 2015, is a watershed year for the climate movement. In December governments will converge in Paris where they are expected to forge a new, international climate agreement that is robust, ambitious and comensurate with the scientific imperatives outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We believe that their ambition has to be driven by a bigger, broader and stronger citizens’ movement.
Faith communities increasingly recognise that the climate crisis is also a moral crisis. The adverse impacts of climate change that we have witnessed so far, present a clear case for people of faith to examine the underlying moral causes of this phenomenon. It prompts faith communities to take action to halt the desecration of nature that leads to destruction of creation, human and otherwise. Furthermore this is an opportunity for faith communities to provide a vision, inspire others and lead the way in building a fairer, safer, cleaner world built on renewable energy – leading the way on a journey to an economic system that meets development goals and is also spiritually fulfilling. The Islamic faith community represents a significant section of the global population and certainly, can be influential in the discourse on climate change.
A group of top academics has been engaged in drafting an “Islamic Declaration on Climate Change” and the initial draft has been circulated widely for consultation. The symposium will be an experts’ meeting convened to seek broad unity and ownership from the Islamic community around the Declaration, and to further discuss the amplification of messages and mobilization of various actors and groups around COP 21 and in the future. In attendance will be senior international development policy makers, leaders of faith groups, academics, and other experts. This symposium shall also provide opportunities to connect with leaders from other faiths as well as secular organisations, and promote inter-faith and cross-movement cooperation around aligned and joint messages. It will moreover highlight the future role and contribution of Muslims to the climate movement, and present ample communications opportunities, the aim being to secure high level representation from the diversity of actors mentioned above.