Live from COP22! (ISNA and Morocco pledge to go green)

Below is a guest blog post from Imaad Khan, a fellow teammate in the field of community engagement and climate, who attended the Climate Change Conference (COP22) in Marrakesh, Morocco (November 7- 18, 2016). He is a policy analyst at the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy; his work focuses on health care, climate, and community engagement. Imaad is a guest blogger for Green Muslims, all views are his own and do not represent Green Muslims. If you missed Imaad’s first post, check it out here!

imaad-and-friends
Photo: Nana Firman, Saffet Catovic, Imaad Khan, and Hareem Ahmed at COP22

Asalaamu  Alaikum everyone!

The last few days have been very energetic and productive and I’m glad for the opportunity to share these updates . First, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) announced on Thursday that it, along with five of its affiliated organizations, will be the first Muslim institution to officially join the Divest-Invest climate movement. ISNA has pledged to divest from fossil fuels based on the harm that the fossil fuel industry has caused to this planet coupled with Islam’s teachings that humans are the guardians and caretakers of the earth. I was in the room during Imam Saffet Catovic’s announcement, and he was received with a standing ovation.

You can watch a video of the statement here.

The Moroccan government made headlines before the beginning of the conference for announcing that 600 mosques would be “going green.” I had the opportunity to pray salaat al jumu’ah in Masjid Koutoubia, a mosque that was built in the 12th century, and see that announcement in action. As part of the conference, imams around the country gave khutbahs on the climate and Masjid Koutoubia was no different. The imam mentioned the strong relationship between Islam and the natural world, as well as the religious injunctions to care for the planet. After the khutbah, I met with Imam Saffet Catovic and co-director of the Global Muslim Climate Action Network, Nana Firman…we took a selfie.

I also got to interview Imam Saffet, so if you’d like an insider’s perspective on ISNA’s announcement as well as some ways you can get involved in climate action click here!

As part of the green initiative, the mosque now has a display set up outside that shows carbon emissions as well as solar power produced. Here’s what it looks like:

mosque

On Sunday I joined the climate march in Marrakech and was emboldened and encouraged by the outpour of excitement, love, and activism from the many different groups that were represented at the march. The march came a day before high level negotiations are to take place in Morocco, and I’m looking forward to updating you all on the outcomes from the COP as well as ways communities back home get take climate action.

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