Islamic leaders today issued a rallying call to combat climate change.

At the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul, they issued a declaration urging action against the use of fossil fuels.

In particular it calls on “well-off nations and oil-producing states” to take several steps, including “lead the way in phasing out their greenhouse gas emissions as early as possible; recognize the moral obligation to reduce consumption so that the poor may benefit from what is left of the earth’s non-renewable resources; and invest in the creation of a green economy”.

The Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change states that “climate change in the past was instrumental in laying down immense stores of fossil fuels from which we derive benefits today. Ironically, our unwise and short-sighted use of these resources is now resulting in the destruction of the very conditions that have made our life on earth possible.”

It adds that “the same fossil fuels that helped us achieve most of the prosperity we see today are the main cause of climate change. Excessive pollution from fossil fuels threatens to destroy the gifts bestowed on us by God, whom we know as Allah. But our attitude to these gifts has been short-sighted, and we have abused them. What will future generations say of us, who leave them a degraded planet as our legacy?”

The declaration also calls on all nations to “aim to phase out greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible in order to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere; commit themselves to 100 per cent renewable energy and/or a zero emissions strategy as early as possible; and invest in decentralized renewable energy, which is the best way to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development.”