Swedish climate correspondent Erika Bjerström has claimed that climate change has helped the Taliban take over Afghanistan as rural farmers saw increasing hardships.
Bjerström states that climate change has shrunk glaciers in the country which has interfered with crops and livestock in rural communities and forced farmers to take out loans with clan leaders that they are often unable to pay back.
As a result, she claims that some poor Afghan farmers have been reduced to selling their own daughters to local warlords in leiu of loan repayments and resentment has built, which the Taliban has taken advantage of, SVT reports.
“In the resentment that arises when people feel abandoned by the country’s government, local Taliban have easily been able to create opinion against the country’s rule,” Bjerström argues.
“It is not known how the new Taliban government views the climate issue or food security, nor whether the Taliban intend to come to the negotiating table at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. If they show up, it will offer a serious diplomatic dilemma for the UN,” she said.
‘Afghan Roulette’ UK, France Accidentally Evacuate Security Risk Individuals https://t.co/0Dau2J68Zr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 24, 2021
On Monday, a representative of the Taliban claimed the group were concerned over climate change and wanted to play a role internationally.
Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a member of the Taliban’s Cultural Commission, stated, “We believe the world has a unique opportunity of rapprochement and coming together to tackle the challenges not only facing us but the entire humanity,” and added, “and these challenges ranging from world security and climate change need the collective efforts of all.”
Last week, U.S. broadcaster CBS published a similar article blaming climate change for helping to “strengthen the Taliban.”
Kamal Alam, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, spoke on the issue saying, “If you’ve lost your crop and land or the Afghan government hasn’t paid enough attention [to you] then, of course, the Taliban can come and exploit it.”
He also noted that the Taliban offered its fighters more cash to fight for them than they would otherwise be able to make farming.
Since the collapse of Kabul and much of Afghanistan to the Taliban, western countries have attempted to evacuate their nationals as well as Afghan staff from the country but some have been criticised for aeroplanes that have left the country nearly empty.
One German aircraft, which is said to hold at least 200 people, left with just seven on board last week and both France and the UK have accidentally evacuated people considered to be possible security risks.