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Islamic Finance and Sustainable Development in the Anthropocene Era

Submissions open 1st January 2024


The Anthropocene refers to a new geological period that began with the industrial revolution, and in which Humans have become a major geological force capable of influencing the Earth's evolution (Crutzen and Stoermer, 2021). Climate change, and other human and non-human consequences it entails, marks the beginning of a new temporal sequence, both geological and historical. A new direction of focus in research and policy is emerging to tackle the question of sustainable development in the era of the Anthropocene. This special issue aims to contribute in that direction.

Anthropogenic climate change, biodiversity loss, food security, water and air pollution, ocean acidification, and wasteful loss of resources value are some of the challenges of the era of the Anthropocene. Sustainable development and achieving UN SDGs require achieving high human development within the biocapacity of one earth. Developed countries with high HDI, in their ecological footprint, exceed the one earth capacity, which directly as well as indirectly through natural disasters harm the low HDI fragile economies although their ecological footprint is within one earth.

Sustainable development requires the resolution of these complex issues of the Anthropocene through altering human economic activities by reducing negative externalities and enhancing positive externalities. Meeting the Anthropocene challenges requires a profound transformation of corporations so that they cooperate better with the Earth system (Bebbington et al., 2019; Jabot, 2022). The Anthropocene also calls for new economic principles, and models for transitioning to an economy that does not destroy the richness of life processes on Earth but preserves and enhances them (Boehnert, 2018; Shrivastava et al., 2019).

The Islamic finance literature lacks investigating the Anthropocene issues despite the emerging literature in other disciplines (e.g., Social sciences, Education, Environment, Earth sciences, etc.). The existing literature mainly studied the influence of Islamic values on the sustainable/CSR behaviors of the Shari’ah-compliant financial and non-financial firms and their stakeholders, emphasizing social aspects (Shu et al., 2022). Rare studies have addressed the ecological and environmental issues in the Islamic finance industry despite the need to care for the Earth and the environment is strongly required in Islam (e.g., Kamla et al., 2006). Islamic law has determined what we call, the higher ethical objectives (maqasid al-Shari’ah), which can be summarized as sustaining and developing the value of human life, the human self, society, and the physical environment (Azmat and Subhan, 2022; Mergaliyev et al., 2019). Following these objectives promotes preserving society's well-being and interests and the collective dimensions of human life and achieving SDGs (Khan, 2019; Khan and Badjie, 2022) and help being mindful of planetary boundaries. With the move to include Earth care in the peacebuilding agenda, the role of religion in environmental conservation and climate change has come under the spotlight (Ngwenya, 2022) as it could exert a powerful influence in shaping personal values and behaviors (Gundolf and Filser, 2013) and businesses (Brammer et al., 2007).

List of topic areas

We welcome the submission of empirical, conceptual and critical studies that tackle the question of how Islamic finance, through its values, legal and moral principles, instruments, and institutions, could address these themes, but not limited to:

  • Climate change and transition to a low-carbon, zero-waste, and circular economy
  • Sustainability, environmental, biodiversity, and carbon accounting, auditing, management and accountability
  • Circular and climate governance, regulation, and standards
  • Corporate governance and sustainable development
  • Regenerative and Sustainable business models
  • Green finance and innovation
  • Sustainable development  and ESG performance, decoupling and consistency 
  • Anthropogenic and sustainable development risks management

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts and Author guidelines must be strictly followed.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

ScholarOne registration

Author guidelines


Key deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/01/2024
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 01/06/2024