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Religious leaders call for an end to activities that cause carbon emissions

 GreenFaith Africa leaders, from left, Kenya's Sujata Kotamraju, Chediel Sendero of Tanzania, Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome (Kenya), Charles Chilufya (Zambia) and Hassan Kukah of Nigeria during the Africa Climate Summit. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Religious leaders have called for the need to stop all activities contributing to carbon emissions and embrace alternative means that are eco-friendly.

The leaders under GreenFaith Africa called for stakeholder engagement in reducing pollution across the globe and ensuring Climate Justice and accountability.

They were speaking in Nairobi at the ongoing UNEA 6 side event breakfast meeting that brought together faith leaders, civil society organisations, and journalists.

Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome called on the government to take responsibility and lead the actions that safeguard the environment.

"Clean environment is a fundamental human right under the constitution and failure to safeguard it, amounts to a violation of the constitution," he said.

The Sheikh said that the effects of climate change is evil and devastating encouraging the faithful to protect the environment.

"Protecting the environment is part of worship, we are using religious teachings to advocate that," he said.

Fletcher Harper, the Executive Director of GreenFaith, an international interfaith environmental organization, observed that carbon credits are used by the global north major corporations to avoid the hard and necessary work of phasing out fossil fuel production.

"We are concerned about the carbon credit, most industries sponsored schemes that do not deliver the scale of the emission reduction that they promised initially.

We also see that there is enormous number of carbon credit used by massive corporations of the global north as a way to legitimise further production of fossil fuel which cannot take place if we are to meet the climate goals that we need," he said.

However, he acknowledged that there are carbon projects that are good, especially through local ownership of different projects that support communities.

Sabina Ng'ang'a, the secretary of Kenya Women of Faith Network, called for a lasting solution to the effects of climate change.

She urged the government to come up with mechanisms to ensure renewable energy is available for all.

"Women are basically the casualties of climate change. The government should provide us clean energy, this is to safeguard the trees and not to cut them down for firewood," Sabina said.

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