Monday September 28, 2020

The world is currently coming to terms with living amongst a global pandemic. However, as we work through this it is important to remember that many countries continue to face the brunt of the climate crises alongside the pandemic. 

Climate change is having the greatest impact on the most vulnerable communities

Indeed, in the last few months alone we have seen catastrophic flooding hit parts of Asia and Africa. Having a devastating effect on already vulnerable communities. 

In Niger, over 281,000 people were affected by flooding which damaged thousands of homes and submerged crops, a vital source of livelihood for many. 

In Sudan, the country’s Security and Defence Panel declared a State of Emergency, with the flooding having killed 99 people, injured 46 and damaged more than 100,000 homes. 

In Bangladesh over 1.27 million homes have been partially or fully damaged leaving over 167 thousand families displaced. 

Climate change is having the greatest impact on the most vulnerable communities, indeed the richest half of the world emit 86% of the world’s carbon emissions in comparison to the bottom half that are responsible for just 14%. This means that vulnerable communities are in a dire position having to deal with the climate crisis which will only dampen efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic. 

The extreme weather is no coincidence, climate change is responsible and this can be demonstrated by the severity of natural disasters and extreme weather we have seen in recent times. Taking just Asia as an example on 27th August, Karachi in Pakistan received its heaviest daily rainfall in the country’s recorded history and Bangladesh this year had its most prolonged monsoon flooding in decades, with one-third of the country estimated to be underwater in July.  

We need to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change

Islamic Relief is on the ground providing lifesaving aid to those affected by natural disasters. However, this is not enough we need to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change, individually through our behaviour and lifestyle choices. But also urge our government to keep the planet a priority by greater investment and policy change. This to reduce global carbon emissions and be an example to other countries to follow suit.

This Autumn the government is making crucial decisions about how to rebuild the economy. We know that building a strong, resilient economy goes hand in hand with tackling climate change, so we need to make sure the government sees the groundswell of support for a green and fair recovery package. 

This is why Islamic Relief UK and thousands of others are putting their name to the Climate Coalitions declaration. The declaration is addressed directly to the PM and aims to send a strong and unified message to urge the UK to forge a resilient recovery for a cleaner, greener future. And Islamic Relief UK are urging the British Muslims community to join the movement.

By signing the declaration, you are not only propelling the voice for action to tackle the climate crisis but are also fulfilling your Islamic obligations to the earth. It is no longer acceptable to be witnesses to the climate crisis, as thousands of our brothers and sisters suffer, and simply do nothing about it.

As Muslims, Allah has made us the Khalifs (guardians of the earth) and it is high time we took action to fulfil that duty for the sake of our faith, family and future! 

© Copyrights 2020 Islamic Relief Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No. 328158
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