As the COP26 climate change summit gets under way in Glasgow, international relief agency Islamic Relief is calling on the UK government to raise its ambition and unleash a clean energy revolution to make our transport, power and housing fit for the future.
The charity is also urging those countries most responsible for the climate crisis to immediately act on their commitments or see climate change wreak havoc on the world and devastate already vulnerable communities.
It is calling on the rich nations most responsible to:
- Seize this opportunity to make serious progress by issuing new commitments and moving faster to phase out of fossil fuels to keep the goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5C within reach
- Better support the transition of developing economies, including supporting the most affected communities
- Ensure that the $100bn annually for climate change financing is not only met but made more transparent for easier accountability
- Guarantee that a fairer share of funds is set aside for global adaptation projects that helps communities prepare for the worst consequences of climate change
- Ensure that loss and damage financing, which helps countries hardest hit by climate change rebuild, is increased
Around the world, Islamic Relief is seeing the devastating impact that climate change is having on people such as Mariat Khatun, a 70-year-old woman in Pakistan, whose village was unable to grow food. While the men searched for land that they could all migrate to, the women and children were hit by floods.
Mariat told the charity:
“I was all alone, with no money to leave, so I had to take out a loan to safely lead my family out of the disaster zone. We lost all our belongings and land.”
The damage to communities is huge and urgent support will be needed to help people rebuild their lives as well as help them prepare for more frequent and intense weather-related emergencies.
Islamic Relief has been working across the world to help people prepare for disasters such as the development of emergency early warning systems, cyclone resistant shelters, flood defences, drought resistant crops and rainwater harvesting systems.
COP26 will see world leaders, tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and civil society come together for twelve days of talks to tackle climate change. Islamic Relief will join with other major aid groups to lobby for change.
Activities planned by Islamic Relief include:
- The announcement of a huge climate initiative at the largest mosque in Scotland
- A roundtable event with a focus on Muslim youth
- A multi faith vigil and prayer at George Square in Glasgow
- An Islamic Relief hosted session with the Pakistan Ministry of Climate Change (MOCC) at the Pakistan Government’s Pavilion at COP26
- The release of a new report, “Climate Migration- The Unfolding Crisis”, highlighting climate change in Pakistan
- Islamic Relief joining faith activists, youth and leaders from around the world to present our calls, hopes and demands for climate justice at COP26 to political leaders.
Tufail Hussain, Director of Islamic Relief UK said:
“At COP26, we will be urging the UK government to raise its ambition and unleash a clean energy revolution to make our transport, power and housing fit for the future. As part of this, we are calling on the government to set up a specialised green fund for houses of worship of all faiths to support their transition to net zero emission by 2050.
“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 percent of the world adhering to a faith, it is critical that faith leaders take a stand against the pillaging of our planet.”
For more information and interviews, please contact Jonaid Jilani, Media Manager: Jonaid.firstname.lastname@example.org or 07872 403534.
About Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is a faith-inspired, development and humanitarian agency working to transform and save the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in over 40 countries. Islamic Relief assists people according to need and does not discriminate in any way.
Set up in Birmingham in 1984 by a group of volunteers, we have assisted over 117 million people all over the world. We’re saving lives and empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty in over 40 countries – from Bangladesh to Bosnia, Pakistan to Palestine, Kenya to Kosovo. Islamic Relief is on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous and difficult places – including Syria and Yemen – strengthening the most marginalised communities to withstand conflict and natural disasters and to build a brighter future. We also support vulnerable people in the UK in partnership with local charities and organisations.