ENEREF INSTITUTE PRESS RELEASE
Media Contact: Patricia Travers
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Campaign Director: Abdullah Khodadad
Afghan Senate Leaders Endorse 100% Renewable Energy Legislation for Future Development
In a Letter to Eneref Institute, Afghan Senate Leaders Lay Groundwork for a National Net-Zero Growth Strategy as Part of “Lead The Leap”
WASHINGTON DC, MARCH 22, 2021 – Recognizing Afghanistan’s unique geography, geopolitical influence, and sought-after raw commodities, the Senate Upper House of Afghanistan (Meshrano Jirga) pledged on Monday to author legislation that will grow a carbon-neutral economy with an aim toward achieving the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world. Afghanistan is now the first lightly-industrialized nation committed to Eneref Institute’s Lead The Leap campaign, which calls for leapfrogging industrialization into the new millennium’s green economy. Eneref Institute is similarly undertaking high-level negotiations with three other lightly-industrialized and moderately-industrialized nations as well as navigating Lead The Leap criteria for several multinational mining and development companies.
In a letter from the Afghan Senate to Eneref Institute, signed by Senators Alam Ezedyar and Nader Baloch, the upper chamber unequivocally states that it recognizes human activity as the dominant cause of climate change and further that it is the Afghan government’s duty to “set an example for nations around the world.” Ezedyar is the Deputy Speaker, and Baloch is the Chief of Public Welfare Commission. The letter was hand-delivered to Eneref Institute in Washington DC by Senator Hasibullah Kalimzai, and received by Abdullah Khodadad, Director of Eneref Institute’s Lead The Leap campaign.
LINK TO SIGNED LETTER:
The letter from the Afghan Senate states:
“While we understand that the Lead The Leap goals call upon us to sharpen our tools of economic statecraft, we believe that leading the world in a carbon-neutral economy offers the People of Afghanistan both a strategic and competitive advantage. Therefore, these vital and pivotal goals are both a challenge and an opportunity for our country and our government. With this in mind, we commit to working with Eneref Institute to develop legislation that can achieve the goals set forth in the Lead The Leap campaign.”
As Seth Warren Rose, Founding Director of Eneref Institute explained, “The goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to pre-industrial levels. Countries that we’ve commonly referred to as ‘underdeveloped’ now have an extraordinary opportunity to leapfrog the industrial revolution into the decarbonized circular economy of the current millennium.” He added, “While some see this as aspirational, in fact it’s urgently necessary.”
A key player in Central Asia, Afghanistan is a region rich in mineral resources and precious metals including vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, and gold. The most conservative U.S. Defense Department estimates appraise the worth of these resources well above $1 trillion, with some estimates as high as $3 trillion, according to a 2010 statement by then Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani. However, any undiscovered petroleum resources should play only a small role in building Afghanistan’s energy infrastructure, announced Eneref Institute campaign director, Abdullah Khodadad. Instead, to prepare Afghanistan for the future, energy will be drawn from renewable resources.
“We’re going to leave the oil in the ground where it belongs,” said Khodadad. “The Lead The Leap campaign is about building a country fueled not just by a short-term wealth of natural resources but by long-term growth strategies that make the most of our human resources as well.”
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Eneref Institute, a global research organization, is a catalyst for change, inspiring solutions that promise a peaceful, earth-friendly economy through socially responsible sustainable development. Eneref develops impactful campaigns that influence others, with messaging designed to build advocacy for common-sense solutions that achieve effective results. Eneref accomplishes this by leveraging the powerful potential of the market-driven economy to foster corporate social responsibility and a more efficient use of natural resources. Visit www.eneref.org.