Grand Imam of Al Azhar calls for climate action amid flooding and record heatwaves

Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb is the latest senior religious figure to warn of the risks of inaction.

Rescuers evacuate people from a hospital in Zhengzhou. (STRINGER/EPA)

Deadly flooding and heatwaves around the world must be followed by action on climate change, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, has said.

“The recent flooding and record rise in temperatures around the world, which have caused hundreds of deaths and displaced many more, should reinforce the need for serious action towards combating climate change and safeguarding humanity from this undeniable threat,” he wrote on Twitter.

Dr Al Tayeb is the latest senior religious figure to warn of the risks of failing to act.

In April, as US President Joe Biden held a summit of global leaders to gain commitments to tackle climate change, Pope Francis said the world was “at the edge” of an abyss.

“Both the global catastrophes, Covid and climate change, prove that we do not have time to wait,” he said.

China’s worst floods in centuries and a deadly heatwave in Canada, where the mercury hit 49ºC last month, are the latest catastrophes linked to rising global temperatures.

In Germany this month, nearly 200 people died and bridges and homes were destroyed when torrential rain led to fast-moving floods in the Rhineland states.

Earlier this month, the EU announced several climate change proposals aimed at pushing the bloc towards becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The draft measures include effectively banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars within 20 years, and taxing jet fuel.

But it is feared the proposals, likely to push up the cost of flights and household heating, could be bogged down in negotiations for years.

In November, heads of state from across the globe will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, for the UN Cop26 climate summit to hammer out fresh commitments for action.

There are already fears that countries are struggling to find common ground, which a meeting of 50 environment ministers in London on Sunday was due to tackle.

Source: The National News

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