Ireland declares climate emergency

The horse’s head sculpture “Still Water” by Nic Fiddian-Green stands next to tent marks outlined on grass from where Extinction Rebellion climate protesters had set up a camp in Marble Arch, London, remaining tents were being collected up and redistributed for charity, Friday, April 26, 2019. (AP)
Updated 10 May 2019

Ireland declares climate emergency

  • The parliament was also urged “to examine how (the Irish government) can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss”
  • Britain’s parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency, passing the largely symbolic motion on May 1

DUBLIN: Ireland’s parliament has become the second after Britain’s to declare a climate emergency, a decision hailed by Swedish teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg as “great news.”
An amendment to a parliamentary report declaring a “climate emergency” and calling on parliament “to examine how (the Irish government) can improve its response to the issue of biodiversity loss” was accepted without a vote late Thursday.
Irish Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who moved the amendment, called the decision “historic.”
Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who has spearheaded protests across Europe and is becoming one of the most passionate voices of the green movement, urged more nations to follow suit.
“Great news from Ireland!! Who is next?” Thunberg tweeted.
Britain’s parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency, passing the largely symbolic motion on May 1.
The step followed 11 days of street protests in London by the Extinction Rebellion environmental campaign group.
Extinction Rebellion’s ultimate goal is to slash global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025 and to end biodiversity loss, steps that have won the backing of left-leaning politicians across the world.
The British government is currently eyeing a 2050 target date, which it says can be achieved without causing substantial economic damage and at a relatively low cost.


Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

Updated 21 January 2020

Karzai urges Ghani to drop truce as pre-condition for talks with Taliban

  • Ex-president says Taliban offer to reduce violence a ‘major development’

KABUL: Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai has urged President Ashraf Ghani to drop the pre-condition of cease-fire to begin talks with the Taliban amid high hope that the US and Taliban delegates will sign a deal following more than a year of secret discussions.

Speaking in an interview with BBC local service, Karzai said the government “should not block intra-Afghan dialogue under the pretext of cease-fire.” He said the Taliban offer for reduction in violence as the group says is nearing to ink the deal with American diplomats in Qatar, was a “major development.”

He said Ghani needed to accept the Taliban offer.

Ghani says truce is a must ahead of starting any negotiations with the Taliban calling reduction in violence a general term and arguing that such a call by the Taliban political leaders in Qatar only goes to show that they have control over field commanders back in Afghanistan.

The Taliban say the group will announce truce when the intra-Afghan dialogue begins which will happen after Washington sets timetable for withdrawal of the troops.

Washington at least on one occasion called off the talks with the Taliban in Qatar due to Taliban attacks back in Afghanistan as discussions continued in Qatar despite none of the warring sides having committed to halt offensives during the talks.

Ghani’s government has been sidelined from all rounds of talks between the Taliban delegates and US diplomats led by Zalmay Khalilzad in Qatar. There has also been rift between Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with the president in the National Unity Government, on the pre-condition of cease-fire.

Unlike Ghani, Abdullah is happy with reduction of violence. Talking in a meeting of council of ministers, Abdullah on Monday indirectly said Ghani had taken the peace process in his monopoly.

 “Peace is not one person’s monopoly, one person’s wish — but it is a collective desire, and the people of Afghanistan have the right to take a position regarding the peace process,” said Abdullah.