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Climate Change

IEA should be included in climate talks: International Crisis Group

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(Last Updated On: November 25, 2023)

Just days ahead of the UN climate conference, COP28, which is scheduled to start on Thursday in the UAE, the International Crisis Group (ICG) on Friday called for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to be included in the talks.

ICG said in a report that the hosts and organizers of COP28 discussed options for including a delegation from Afghanistan but could not settle on a way to do it.

The question was whether working-level officials from IEA, who are not sanctioned, might come to the UAE and join side events at COP28.

“This approach – keeping the Taliban (IEA) out of climate talks on human rights grounds – is understandable but unrealistic from a humanitarian perspective. Afghanistan ranks as the world’s seventh-most vulnerable country amid the ravages of climate change. Already wracked by droughts, floods and other natural disasters, it will witness further sharp increases in temperature in coming decades,” ICG said.

According to the group, Afghanistan has done very little to contribute to the problem of climate change and will need considerable international help to survive it.

“Whether at COP28 or other forums, the world must eventually start talking with the Taliban (IEA) about adaptation strategies. No matter how unpalatable it may be, bringing Kabul into climate talks is necessary if international action on this issue is to be truly global and if Afghanistan’s people are to be duly protected,” ICG said.

 

Climate Change

Russia voices support for Afghanistan’s participation at COP29

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(Last Updated On: February 11, 2024)

A Russian official has said that Afghanistan’s representatives should have presence in international climate change meetings including this year’s COP29 U.N. climate summit that will be held in Azerbaijan’s Baku.

Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change of the Russian Federation, said this as he met with Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Kabul on Saturday.

The meeting focused on bilateral relations between IEA and the Russian Federation, economic cooperation, cooperation in the area of climate change and ways to upgrade diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Stressing on enhanced bilateral relations, Muttaqi said that further progress can be made in several areas by upgrading diplomatic relations, adding that despite Afghanistan not being a greenhouse gas emitter, it remains vulnerable to hazardous effects of climate change.

Urging Russia to cooperate in providing training to the staff of the relevant bodies in environment protection and forestation, Muttaqi requested Russian support in ensuring the participation of Afghan representatives in international forums on environmental protection.

Exchanging views on upgrading bilateral diplomatic relations, Edelgeriyev pledged to duly reflect developments in Afghanistan to the Russian president, according to the statement.

He emphasized that Afghanistan’s representatives should participate in international climate change meetings, highlighting that Russia will support participation of the Afghan delegation in COP29 to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

He also stressed on the commencement of the work of the bilateral trade commission between Afghanistan and Russia.

The Russian official separately met also with Acting Industry and Commerce Minister Nooruddin Azizi, where they discussed expansion of trade relations.

This comes as a two-day international conference on climate change began in Nangarhar province on Saturday.

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Climate Change

Philippine landslide death toll climbs to 37

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(Last Updated On: February 11, 2024)

The number of people killed by a landslide in the southern Philippines has risen to 37, an official said on Sunday, as rescue workers continued to dig through mud even as hope of finding more survivors dimmed.

The landslide struck on Tuesday night outside a gold mine in Maco town in the province of Davao de Oro, burying homes and vehicles ferrying employees to the site operated by Apex Mining, Reuters reported.

Edward Macapili, an official of Davao de Oro province, said 37 people had died from the landslide, in the latest update after two more bodies were found on Sunday.

However, the tally of missing people was revised down to 63 from 77, while there were 32 injured. Officials did not immediately cite a reason for the revision.

Macapili said over 300 people were involved in the rescue, but operations were being hampered by heavy rain, thick mud and the threat of further landslides. Rescue work resumed on Sunday morning, Macapili said.

Asked if there were still survivors, Macapili said it was already “unlikely”, but the search would continue.

“The rescue team is doing its best, even if it’s very difficult,” Macapili said by phone.

Torrential rains have battered Davao de Oro in recent weeks, triggering floods and landslides.

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Climate Change

Australia sweats through heatwave, bushfire risk rated ‘extreme’

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(Last Updated On: February 4, 2024)

Large swaths of Australia on Sunday sweltered through a heatwave as authorities warned of elevated bushfire risk in an already high-risk fire season during an El Nino weather pattern.

The nation’s weather forecaster had heatwave alerts in place for Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Western Australia, warning temperatures in some parts of the country could hit the low 40s Celsius, Reuters reported.

An El Nino is a climate pattern in which unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures are associated with phenomena such as cyclones, droughts, wildfires and heatwaves.

The high in the west of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, was forecast at 39 C, almost 10 degrees above the February mean, forecaster data showed.

Hot and dry conditions combined with gusty winds prompted the forecaster to issue “extreme fire danger” warnings for parts of Victoria and South Australia states.

Sunday’s hot weather – the latest in a string of heatwaves to scorch Australia – comes after the country’s east was hit last month by damaging floods.

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