Header image: Richard Pohle/The Times

Despite contributing to less than 0.2% of global emissions, Afghanistan faces monumental challenges when it comes to tackling the impacts of climate change across the country.

Afghanistan’s mean annual temperature has increased significantly since 1950 by an alarming 1.8°C - this is almost double the global average temperature rise in this period. This drastic rise in temperatures, largely experienced in the form of extreme weather and natural disasters, wreak havoc on the lives of ordinary Afghan families, exacerbating food insecurity and forcing thousands of families into poverty, or displacing them altogether. 

COP28 and Afghanistan

As COP28 begins, many important conversations around the climate crisis will be taking place between governments, the private sector and activist groups and individuals in Doha. But there is a risk that the attention on experiences of ordinary, rural Afghans on the frontlines of the crisis will be missing from the conference's events. 

For the third year running, Afghanistan will have no official representation at the conference, and without a larger presence of Afghan experts, activists and non-governmental groups at international climate fora to compensate for this lack of formal presence, there is a real risk that the specific and myriad challenges Afghans face due to climate change will be not be considered within climate decision-making and the importance afforded to the Afghan experience will not be sufficient.

At Afghanaid, we continue to call for a "people first" approach to engaging with Afghanistan and supporting climate action in the country: through meaningful non-governmental partnerships, climate finance can still be made accessible to local communities, especially women, and empower ordinary people to advocate for their interests and needs on a larger platform.

By enabling local people to take an active role in protecting their communities from climate change, and by supplying them the  training and tools necessary to sustain this resilience, we can encourage stability in vulnerable communities, and build a brighter future for thousands of overlooked Afghans. 

Read more about our climate adaptation projects

Prioritising climate action in Afghanistan

Without sustained action to tackle the impacts of climate change across Afghanistan, existing challenges and inequalities such as unemployment, food insecurity and water scarcity will deepen, worsening ordinary Afghan's ability to recover. 

A huge proportion of rural Afghan households already find themselves unable to grow sufficient food or secure sustainable incomes due to climate-induced disasters like droughts and floods, which have increased in severity and frequency in recent years. Additionally, the current humanitarian crisis has been exacerbated by a reduction in international funding, leaving many households without adequate support to navigate these intersecting challenges.

Recognising the urgent need for action, the European Union recently joined forces with Afghanaid to launch a comprehensive and sustainable large-scale development project across Afghanistan, seeking to address not only the immediate humanitarian need present in rural communities, but also the underlying issue of climate change to build resilience and mitigate future disasters.

Learn more about this transformative project

How can you help?

During COP28, we urge the international community to support vulnerable populations like Afghanistans with initiatives to keep themselves safe, and assistance in building a greener, more hopeful future. 

Help bring sustainable, climate-friendly solutions to Afghan communities:

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