Today at the Financing the Future Summit, the message could not have been clearer or more consistent with the mission of the Shine campaign: the time has come to end energy poverty with distributed, renewable, community-based, community-owned energy systems. And – mission-driven investors need to step forward and meet this challenge.
We can do this. For the sake of the world and those who lack energy access, we must.
One particular moment stood out in the morning program. At a breakfast of diverse religious leaders, representatives of the Fiqh Council of North America, the council of Islamic religious scholars responsible for issuing authoritative religious rulings, also known as fatwa, released a ruling on climate change calling for a rapid transition to a renewable energy-powered economy for all people and calling upon Islamic investment houses immediately to develop fossil fuel-free investment vehicles and portfolios that include investments in renewable and clean energy companies, particularly those serving energy-poor regions of the world. Furthermore, the Council stated that its members stand ready to engage its fellow Islamic scholarly councils around the world in relation to this ruling.
Furthermore, the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board of the United Kingdom along with their UK partners the Bahu Trust and IFEES/EcoIslam, released a joint statement urging the Muslim community to invest in renewable energy, particularly to ensure access to clean energy for all people. Their statement reads, in part, “Loving Allah, is loving Allah’s creation and investing in fossil fuels is having a catastrophic impact on Allah’s creation. The need to re-align our finances with Islam’s ethical values and Shariah by investing in climate-friendly investments has never been more urgent.”
This fatwa and the statement have important implications for energy access. As with all religious communities, the Islamic community collectively is home to considerable wealth, but has yet to deploy this wealth at scale in the service of ending energy poverty. Spurred on by this ruling and statement, we now look to Islamic investment managers to develop investment vehicles that can move vitally important funds into distributed renewable energy enterprises, ensuring a bright future for all.