World Council of Churches delegates to the seventh United Nations climate conference here last fall explored Christian and Muslim perspectives on the issue during a day-long colloquium.
Underscoring the importance of the issue to both faith communities, David Hallman, WCC coordinator of the climate change program, said that the involvement of the churches stems from "our belief that God created and loves this world. We believe that God intends that humans, as an integral part of creation, should live in a wholesome relationship to the rest of creation so as not to cause such destruction that species, ecosystems and indeed large numbers of people are threatened."
Prof. Ahmed Khamlichi described Islam's position on climate change. "The Koran states that God allows human beings to enjoy everything necessary to satisfy their desires, such as food, clothing, housing, transport and every other ornament or means of enjoyment -- but with balance and moderation and no excess or overuse."
He said that maintaining that balance is important because the earth was created as a balance system and every individual must contribute to this balance. "The environment is not something that can be owned by anyone here and now," he said. "The environment and the climate belong to coming generations. …