Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Joint Op-ed by the Ambassadors of the EU and Member States based in Kabul on the occasion of European Climate Diplomacy Week

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Joint Op-ed by the Ambassadors of the EU and  Member States based in Kabul on the occasion of  European Climate Diplomacy Week

On 18 June the European Climate Diplomacy Week starts and we, the Ambassadors representing the EU and its Member States, wish to mark this occasion by sharing our thoughts on Climate Change in Afghanistan.
Climate-related issues may look to be of secondary importance in face of the huge challenges Afghanistan is facing in terms of Security and Economic Development. This is a false perception. Afghanistan is one of the countries in the world most affected by Climate Change. Consequences are already serious, and may worsen in the coming years if mitigation and adaptation measures are not put in place. Climate change affects rural and urban populations, the agricultural economy, and may lead to increasing numbers of internally displaced people and irregular migration. There is an urgent need to address these matters.
In this respect, our thoughts go to the millions of Afghan people suffering from the drought which affects large parts of the country. Theyshould benefit from protective measures, especially the most vulnerable segments of the population, women and children. They can count on our support in alleviating the adverse effect of these circumstances on their livelihood.
We also wish to commend the actions of all those within the official institutions, the civil society, the private sector and the international community who are campaigning to promote mitigating initiatives. As a signatory of the Paris Agreement, Afghanistan is committed to contribute by such policies and programs to reducing the effect of climate change. The world can help: Afghanistan is eligible forfunding from various international sources and proper administrative reforms will ease access to this assistance.
The EU and its Member States, through dedicated projects, are committed to bringing a tangible contribution to these efforts. Under the “Sustainable Growth and Jobs” component of its Development Assistance Program to Afghanistan, the EU will include support to renewable energies. Afghanistan is blessed with abundant solar and wind resources that remain to a large extent untapped. The EU and its Member States are taking multiple initiatives in irrigation and water management, infrastructure, natural resources management and reforestation.
Water is among the assets which are both, depending on places and seasons, abundant or scarce given the needs of the population and the economy. Climate Change disruptsthe availability of water and other natural resources. It is a problem for Afghanistan not just in domestic terms but also in its relationship with the neighboring countries. We are committed to offer our experience and expertise in the field of Climate and Water diplomacy for Afghanistan to better shape this strategic dimension of its regional integration.
Addressing the challenges of Climate Change is not a task for only a few specialists but a national engagement that should keep all citizens mobilized. May our European Climate Diplomacy Week message encourage all Afghans to defend this cause for the sake of peace and prosperity for this generation and the next one.

By: Pierre Mayaudon, Ambassador of the European Union Petr Stepanek, Ambassador of Czech Republic Walter Hassmann, Ambassador of Germany Jakob Brix Tange, Ambassador of Denmark Emilio Pérez de Ágreda, Ambassador of Spain Hannu Ripatti, Ambassador of Finland François Richier, Ambassador of France Roberto Cantone, Ambassador of Italy Geoffrey van Leeuwen, Ambassador of Netherlands Radu Gimbutan, Head of Mission of Romania Tobias Thyberg, Ambassador of Sweden Sir Nicholas Kay, Ambassa

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