Climate issues should not be politicized: MoFA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has said that climate issues must be kept separate from political issues.

MoFA deputy spokesperson Zia Ahmad Takal said Afghans had suffered more than $20 billion in financial losses due to climate change over the past year.

“As the effects of climate change know no borders, its solution must also be distanced from political problems and countries like Afghanistan, which have played no part in climate change but have been severely affected by it, should be targeted,” he said.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement that Afghanistan is ranked sixth among countries most vulnerable to climate change threats.

“Afghanistan has experienced the negative effects of climate change, namely floods and droughts. At least 205 people died in the floods,” said Mohibullah Bahar, an official with the National Environmental Protection Agency.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MoAIL) said Afghan farmers had suffered heavy financial losses during floods caused by climate change in the country.

“Afghan farmers and cattle owners have suffered greatly from climate change,” said Musbahuddin Mustaeen, spokesman for the ministry.

The UN Climate Change Conference COP27 opened on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change said in a statement that the COP27 discussions begin towards the end of a year that has seen devastating floods and unprecedented heat waves, severe drought and tremendous storms, all unequivocal signs of the ongoing climate emergency.

According to the UNFCCC, millions of people around the world are facing the impacts of simultaneous crises in energy, food, water and the cost of living, compounded by serious conflicts and geopolitical tensions. In this unfavorable context, some countries have started to slow down or reverse their climate policies and have doubled their consumption of fossil fuels.

“Everyone, every day, everywhere, must do everything in their power to avert the climate crisis,” said Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change.

Teresa H. Sadler