ISLAMABAD: Leaders of different faiths pledged to play a role to sensitise communities about the negative impacts of climate change.
They were speaking on Thursday at a seminar titled “What can religious actors do about climate change? Protecting God’s creation through interfaith action,” organised by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) --- a faith based organisation which provides humanitarian assistance and work for long term development.
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Speakers emphasised that climate change should be addressed Friday mosque sermons and Sunday church services besides introducing regular lectures in seminaries.
Ghazali Education Trust Pakistan European Coordinator Mian Muhammad Tayyib said, “Men and women must serve their Creator by taking good care of themselves and the environment. The Creator shaped the earth and will be watching our actions,” adding that proactive action to save our planet is no longer a matter of choice but an imperative upon us all.
Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi said God created the universe in balance, but mankind disturbed the balance out of greed. He said that no prophet had allowed for the misuse of natural resources. He said religious leaders should be educated on climate change issues so that they could convey a decisive message to the people during their respective sermons.
Luther Seminary Professor Emeritus Dr Charles Amjad-Ali said COP 21 in Paris agreed to limit carbon emissions, but in a non-binding agreement which has yet to be ratified. “There is no system for its implementation. The climate change agreement is still human-centric, when it should be eco-centric or earth-centric,” Ali said.
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He said that all development should be participatory and sustainable. NCA Adviser on Climate Change Justice and Energy Ingrid Naess-Holm shared his experience with the interfaith climate change network in Norway. Church of Norway Deputy General Secretary Rev Einar Tjelle and others also spoke.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2016.
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