In recognition of these efforts, the Glasgow Central Mosque has been selected as part of a major Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa’s Green Mosques initiative, highlighting the huge potential that solarising major mosques around the world can have in cutting back greenhouse gas emissions and setting an example for other communities.
A detailed report with analysis calculating the savings to be made by solarising key sites, such as the Al Nabawi mosque in Medina, Al Haram Mosque in Mecca and Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo, will be released by Greenpeace MENA as part of the organisation’s activities at COP26.
Tufail Hussein, Director of Islamic Relief UK, said:
“The solarisation effort of this iconic building – located right across the river from where world leaders are meeting at COP26 – must encourage actions on a global scale. We hope it sparks a domino effect for a wide variety of places of worship to cut their emissions and act as beacons in the fight against climate change.
“Climate change is already wreaking havoc. Our teams are seeing first-hand the human misery it is causing on a mass scale – millions of people are being displaced, millions more are on the brink of famine as harvests fail. With 80 per cent of the world adhering to a faith, it is critical that faith leaders take a stand against the pillaging of our planet.”
Nouhad Awwad, Project Campaigner on Ummah for Earth at Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa, said:
“This project shows the real potential that the Muslim Ummah has to be part of the solution to the worsening climate emergency. Beyond just the direct environmental benefits of ‘greening’ these places of worship, the ability to act as centres of culture and spirituality means they exert huge influence on people and communities.
“This is a wake-up call for political, community and faith leaders of our Ummah to step up and take the environmental impact of their communities more seriously, reminding people of their responsibilities towards their fellow humans and the natural world as stewards and protectors of the earth.”
Irfan Razzaq, General Secretary of Glasgow Central Mosque, said:
“As stewards of the earth, it is our moral responsibility to do everything we can to protect our planet and ensure it is preserved for future generations. For too long, we have overlooked this fact and it is now time to realise our obligations and act.
“Today marks an important step in tackling this and ensuring that the UK’s Muslim community plays an important part in this existential battle. With more than 1,500 mosques across the country, Muslims can play a leading role in our transition away from polluting fossil fuels and ensuring we can all cut our emissions and meet our 2050 targets.”
Energy savings from the solarisation will allow the mosque to fund other community initiatives such as an urban food growing project to further reduce carbon emissions. The mosque has also committed to hosting annual awareness sessions for the local community on the dangers of climate change and the importance of green energy solutions.
Islamic Relief is using COP26 to urge the UK government to raise its ambition and set up a specialised green fund for houses of worship of all faiths to support their transition to net zero emissions by 2050. As historical, cultural and iconic buildings are often the most used places for worship and as community hubs, Islamic Relief also urges the government to set up dedicated dialogue channels with faith leaders to ensure people of faith are properly engaged toward meeting wider environmental and net zero targets.
Through the Ummah for Earth Alliance Islamic Relief and Greenpeace MENA also call on the rich nations most responsible for climate change:
- To seize this opportunity to make serious progress by issuing new commitments and moving faster to phase out fossil fuels to keep the goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5C within reach.
- To better support the transition of developing economies, including supporting the most affected communities.
- To ensure that the $100bn previously pledged annually for climate change financing is not only delivered in full each year but made more transparent for easier accountability.
- To guarantee that a fairer share of funds is set aside for global adaptation projects that help the most vulnerable communities.
- To ensure that ‘loss and damage’ financing, which helps countries hardest hit by climate change rebuild, is increased.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information please contact: Jonaid Jilani, Media Manager: Jonaid.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07872 403534.
The U4E project aims to contribute to the climate movement amongst Muslims worldwide by building on Islamic values to address the vulnerability of Muslims and climate impacts. The project seeks to show how Muslim culture and values are an important guiding light for a more sustainable future while amplifying the voices of Muslim youth in the global conversation around climate. The U4E project serves as a platform for Muslims and Muslim youth in particular to become active citizens working for their communities and the good of the planet. U4E also seeks to work alongside key influencers, religious figures and thought leaders who can contribute to a mindset that prioritizes climate as a pressing global matter.
About Greenpeace MENA:
Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation, which uses peaceful, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and develop solutions for a green and peaceful future. Our goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity.
About Islamic Relief Worldwide
As an independent humanitarian and development organisation, Islamic Relief Worldwide has been serving humanity for more than 35 years. With an active presence in over 40 countries across the globe, IRW strives to make the world a better and fairer place for the three billion people still living in poverty. Since 1984, IRW has helped millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Inspired by the Islamic faith and guided by its values, IRW believes that people with wealth have a duty to those less fortunate regardless of race, political affiliation, gender or belief.