Afghans urge world leaders to take steps on climate change
KABUL (Pajhwok): Dozens of civil society activists on Sunday cleaned parts of Kabul City and marched to asked world leaders due to meet in Paris for the UN climate change summit to take practical steps towards countering the issue.
The summit starts Monday in the French capital with the aim of reaching a landmark global deal on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
The leaders of the United States, China and India -- the world’s top three carbon-emitting countries -- are among those scheduled to attend the opening day of the event, known as COP21. Around 150 world leaders are expected to attend the talks.
It’s being held amid heavy security after the deadly terrorist attacks that struck Paris two weeks ago. French authorities have clamped down on public demonstrations in the aftermath of the attacks, blocking environmental campaigners’ plans for a big march on Sunday in Paris to highlight the climate change issue.
Members of Sanayee Development Organization, National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA), officials of Kabul Municipality and a number of Kabul residents participated in the symbolic cleanliness campaign and later held a gathering.
Sanayee Development Organization head Raz Mohammad Dalili said told the gathering that they wanted to show the world Afghanistan was among the countries negatively impacted by climate change.
He said people in foreign countries including Paris, Brazil and India also held rallies on Sunday to show their support for cuts in emissions.
2015 is on course for being the warmest year on record. The current average global temperature is around 15C, 1C warmer than before the industrial revolution. Over the same time period carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have risen from 280 parts per million to 400ppm.
Dalili asked participants of Paris conference to accelerate their efforts at dealing with climate change after signing a landmark agreement on emissions cut.
“Afghanistan is one of the most affected countries of climate change,” Dalili said, suggesting that the Paris summit should evolve a strategy to recycle wasted items for reusability. “It could bring down temperatures and help clean the environment.”
Dalili said the temperature in Afghanistan had increased by 0.6 percent since 1960 and rains decreased by 40 millimeter. Life could become problematic if the situation continued, he added.
“Our today’s movement cannot clean the entire city, but it is a message for our people that we all are responsible to keep our environment clean,” he said, adding the government could not alone clean the whole city without people’s support.
NEPA head Kazim Humayon said their movement could help institutionalise the culture of urbanization.
Though Afghanistan produced fewer amount of gases compared to other countries, the nation suffered from most dangerous effects of climate change, he said.
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