Taliban govt joins climate change talks for first time

Published April 25, 2024
ZAINUL Abideen Abid, an official of Afghanistan’s environment protection agency (left), and Terje Watterdal, who heads the Norwegian Committee for Afghanistan, address a joint press conference in Kabul, on Wednesday.—AFP
ZAINUL Abideen Abid, an official of Afghanistan’s environment protection agency (left), and Terje Watterdal, who heads the Norwegian Committee for Afghanistan, address a joint press conference in Kabul, on Wednesday.—AFP

KABUL: The Taliban government has entered the first stage of discussions with the United Nations, donors and non-governmental organisations, over the impact of climate change in Afghanistan, organisers said on Wednesday.

After four decades of war, Afghanistan is ranked as one of the countries least prepared to tackle the effects of climate change that are spurring extreme weather conditions and warping natural environments.

Foreign aid to Afghanistan has dwindled since the Taliban takeover, in 2021. Donors are wary of backing a government that is commonly considered a pariah, leaving poor and climate-vulnerable communities, further exposed to the detrimental effects.

The Norwegian Afghanistan Committee (NAC), co-hosted three days of talks that came to a close on Tuesday, country director Terje Watterdal told reporters at a news conference in Kabul.

He said it was the first occasion where Taliban officials “joined a parallel session, face-to-face and online, with a broad range of their counterparts in the West, since the change of government in August 2021”.

The talks included universities, diplomats, UN agencies, donors and grassroots members of Afghan society. All sides agreed that “both individual and collective action is required both inside and outside of Afghanistan”, Watterdal said.

“All government ministries committed their full support for the national and international organizations working to combat climate change and reduce the impact of climate change in Afghanistan.”Watterdal said it is “necessary to de-politicise key development issues, such as climate change”.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...
China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...