A spiritual fight against climate change and the rising sea

Sea Level Rise in India

Two months after the historic Papal encyclical, Islamic leaders and scholars from 20 countries are now calling for all followers to work towards zero greenhouse gas emission and 100% renewable energy strategy by 2050.  The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, is a concerted effort made to put pressure on Gulf states ahead of the Paris summit before the end of the year.

In the brief period since the Industrial Revolution, humans have consumed much of the non-renewable resources which have taken the earth 250 million years to produce – all in the name of economic development and human progress. We note with alarm the combined impacts of rising per capita consumption combined with the rising human population. We also note with alarm the multi-national scramble now taking place for more fossil fuel deposits under the dissolving ice caps in the arctic regions. We are accelerating our own destruction through these processes,” warned the Declaration which also called for corporations and businesses to actively reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impacts.

Indeed we are witnessing environmental impacts at all scales, from local spills of hydrocarbon drilling wastes to a legacy of contaminated land and water from ongoing and past activities, and rising sea level that will turn millions homeless as it inundate entire nations, cities and some of the world’s poorest regions. “Right now we have committed to probably more than three feet (one metre) of sea level rise, just based on the warming we have had so far,” said Steve Nerem of the University of Colorado, and leader of NASA’s sea level rise team.

In New Zealand, the impact will be significant at a national level and potentially devastating for some land owners. In some parts of the country, damaging coastal floods will become increasingly frequent,” said Dr Jan Wright, NZ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

It is time to act, it’s time to rise up for climate justice – a safe climate and a just world for all. Tell world governments to keep fossil fuels underground and finance a just transition.

wanganui floods wanganui chronicle 21Jun2015

Sources:

Islamic leaders issue bold call for rapid phase out of fossil fuels (The Guardian, 16 Aug 2015)

Taranaki Regional Council work to clean up synthetic drilling mud spill (Taranaki Daily News, 27 Aug 2015)

Dunedin tar pit site highly contaminated (Radio NZ, 27 Aug 2015)

Rising sea could engulf Florida, Tokyo (Radio NZ, 27 Aug 2015)

Changing climate and rising seas (NZ Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dec 2014)

Whanganui’s worst flood on record (Wanganui Chronicle, 21 June 2015)

Here and No Further (350.org, 15 Aug 2015)

Photos from Greenpeace: Sea level rise and Wanganui Chronicle

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