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Muslims and climate change: How Islam, Muslim organizations, and religious leaders influence climate change perceptions and mitigation activities
WIREs Climate Change  (IF7.385),  Pub Date : 2021-02-24, DOI: 10.1002/wcc.702
Jens Koehrsen

A growing body of research stresses the importance of religion in understanding and addressing climate change. However, so far, little is known about the relationship between Muslim communities and climate change. Globally, Muslims constitute the second largest faith group, and there is a strong concentration of Muslims in regions that are particularly affected by global warming. This review synthesizes existing research about climate change and Muslim communities. It addresses (a) Islamic environmentalism, (b) Muslim perceptions of climate change, and (c) mitigation strategies of Muslim communities. The analysis shows that there is no uniform interpretation of climate change among Muslims. Based on their interpretations of Islam, Muslims have generated different approaches to climate change. A small section of Muslim environmentalists engages in public campaigning to raise greater concern about climate change, seeks to reduce carbon emissions through sociotechnological transition efforts, and disseminates proenvironmental interpretations of Islam. However, it remains unclear to what extent these activities generate broader changes in the daily activities of Muslim communities and organizations. Contributions to this research field are often theoretical and stress theological and normative aspects of Islam. Empirical studies have particularly addressed Indonesia and the United Kingdom, whereas knowledge about Muslim climate activism in other world regions is fragmented. Against this backdrop, there is a need for comparative studies that consider regional and religious differences among Muslims and address the role of Muslim environmentalism in climate change mitigation and adaptation at the international, national, and local scales.