February 7, 2021

Eneref Institute Launches Lead The Leap campaign — 02-09-21

Media Contact: Patricia Travers
202-221-8440 ext. 222
Campaign Director: Abdullah Khodadad

Afghan Group Commits to Achieving 100% Renewable Energy Growth

“Lead The Leap” Alliance Laying the Groundwork
for a National Net-Zero Growth Strategy.

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WASHINGTON DC, FEBRUARY 16, 2021 – A group of forward-thinking leaders in Afghanistan is reinventing the future of their nation with a mission to become the world leader in carbon-neutral growth. Spearheaded by Afghan political activist Abdullah Khodadad, Director of Eneref Institute’s Lead The Leap campaign, the alliance is laying the groundwork for an aggressive net-zero energy growth strategy. Eneref Institute is a Washington-based research and advocacy organization for sustainable development. The first meeting of the Lead The Leap campaign alliance took place on February 5, 2021. 

“Afghanistan is the envy of the world in terms of mineral resources,” said Khodadad. “However, in opening our vast resources to the world, our aim is to bring in international impact investors who are committed to non-toxicity, energy efficiency, and 100% clean power generation.”

Other leaders of the alliance include Ahmad Zia Massoud, former Vice President of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai; Kazim Homayoon, Director of Kabul Environmental Protection Directorate; Fawzia Koofi, award-winning peace activist, Member of Parliament and Vice President of the National Assembly; Mohammad Alam Ezedyar, Deputy Speaker of the Senate; Mohammad Esa Mesbah, former Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan; and Massoud Hossaini, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Importantly, these leaders are joined by dozens of award-winning humanitarian activists and organizations. 

The UN Paris Agreement calls for achieving a climate-neutral world by mid-century. Eneref Institute’s Lead The Leap campaign alliance is advancing plans to navigate Afghanistan there first — ahead of industrialized nations — by maximizing the value of Afghanistan’s undeveloped and underutilized natural resources through partnerships with impact investors. 

“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,” said Seth Warren Rose, Founding Director of Eneref Institute. “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. Instead, to prepare Afghanistan for the future, energy will be drawn from renewable resources, according to the alliance team. 

“We’re going to leave the oil in the ground where it belongs,” said Khodadad. “Our 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.”

Visit the Lead The Leap campaign page: https://eneref.org/impact/leadtheleap/

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 About Eneref Institute

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.


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