In a global call to governments and policymakers, the World Health Organization has described climate change as the “single biggest health threat facing humanity”, outlining 10 recommended climate and health actions for a healthy and green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the intimate and delicate links between humans, animals and our environment,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
“The same unsustainable choices that are killing our planet are killing people. WHO calls on all countries to commit to decisive action at COP26 to limit global warming to 1.5°C – not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it’s in our own interests.”
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WHO also launched the report in an open letter, signed by over two thirds of the global health workforce – 300 organizations representing at least 45 million doctors and health professionals worldwide, calling for national leaders and COP26 country delegations to step up climate action.
“Protecting health requires action well beyond the health sector, in energy, transport, nature, food systems, finance and more,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote in the report’s foreword.
“The ten recommendations outlined in this report — and the action points, resources and case studies that support them — provide concrete examples of interventions that, with support, can be scaled up rapidly to safeguard our health and our climate.”
WHO report added that the climate crisis has caused devastating ripple effects across society and the economy, much like the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Even as they have been battling to end the Covid-19 pandemic, health leaders everywhere have been sounding the alarm on climate change,” Maria Neira, director of the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health at the WHO, said in a press release. “It is time we listened.”
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Islam & Climate Change
From an Islamic perspective, environmental activism is grounded in honoring the relationship between oneself, Allah, and Allah’s creation.
Allah says in the Qur’an, It is He who has appointed you vicegerent on the Earth … (Qur’an, 6:165)
Historically, Muslim scholars coupled their study of nature to their understanding of Allah (God). The Qur’an articulates how eco-consciousness permeates every aspect of life and explains nature as a complete, complex, interconnected and interdependent system.
Verily, We have created everything in equal proportion and measure … (Qur’an, 54:49).