To mark the COP26 Climate Conference solar panel systems are being installed at Glasgow Central Mosque. The largest of Scottish Mosques joins an initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of mosques and other community buildings internationally. The project is supported by Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Islamic Relief, both members of the alliance Ummah for Earth, and with help from an Indonesian mosque which made the move to partial solar energy production last year.
Background to the solar project
This project at Glasgow Central Mosque follows the findings of a technical report made by a team from Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, in collaboration with The Lebanese Foundation for Renewable Energy and National Council for Scientific Research which analysed the potential carbon savings to be made by installing solar systems at key sites around the world.
Nouhad Awwad, project campaigner for Ummah for Earth said:
“This initiative is a testimony of the Ummah’s ambition to be part of the climate solution and a message to leaders representing the countries from the Muslim world in the ongoing climate negotiations, that they should be true to its ambition and push hard for a world free of fossil fuels.
“While we continue to demand policy that delivers climate justice, we must take the initiative and enact solutions we are capable of implementing ourselves, … like Glasgow Central Mosque this week”
The scope of energy savings from solar powered mosques
In total, this project aims to install solar power systems on mosques at ten locations, in addition to Glasgow they are in Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Syria. It is estimated that these sites would generate approximately 22.3 gigawatt-hours of electricity, and reduce 12,025 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. This is the equivalent of a reduction in consumption of more than 5 million litres of gasoline, a reduction of 2203 light vehicles on the roads, or the preservation of 1107 hectares of forest. In addition, the proposed plan would create between 93 and 153 new jobs within the local communities around the mosques.
Ummah Alliance’s hope for the future
Tufail Hussein, Director of Islamic Relief UK said:
“Climate change is already wreaking havoc. Our teams are seeing first-hand the human misery it is causing on a mass scale; millions of people are being displaces, millions more are on the brink of famine as harvests fail. With 80 per cent of the world adhering to a faith, it is critical that faith leaders take a stand against the pillaging of our planet.”
This project makes an important statement about the role that mosques can play in carbon emissions reduction, and is in recognition of the role that faiths can play in mitigating the effects of climate crisis. It is helping to inspire an alternative future, free of fossil fuels.
Similar action has been taken by other faith groups to reduce emissions: