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Kuwaiti activists: Environmental causes should be legislative priority

KUWAIT, Sept 27 (KUNA) -- Kuwait activists said on Monday that hopefuls running in the 2022 National Assembly elections, scheduled next Thursday, must put environmental causes on the forefront of their respective campaigns to achieve sustainable development for the country.
Speaking to KUNA, several sources stressed the importance of protecting the environment, saying that the issue was not a marginal topic that need to be put in the back-burner.
Wajdan Al-Oqab, chairperson of the Kuwait Environment Protection Society (KEPS), called for protecting the environment and promoting alternative energy resources, affirming that those issues affected Kuwait and the whole world.
Increasing temperatures and haphazard climate shifts could not be easily brushed under the carpet, they were real threats requiring real solutions, she reiterated.
She called on candidates to recognize the importance of protecting natural resources and respect international environmental protection accords.
The parliament had approved laws pertaining to protecting the environmental rights of individuals, said Al-Oqab, noting that environmental protection law 24/2015 and law 99/2015 both enshrined the rights of citizens in clean air quality, water, and land.
Fending off pollution and protecting the environment are vital parts of sustainable development and the new Kuwait vision 2030, she stressed.
Similarly, head of the climate change department at the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Shareef Al-Khayat said that the issue of climate change was a reality and it had resulted in rising sea levels due to ice melting both in the Arctic and Antarctica.
Kuwait would not be isolate from the issue of climate change because it affects the whole world and thus legislators must focus on laws to prevent an environmental catastrophe from occurring, he added, noting that the rise in temperature was also a great danger facing the country.
Al-Khayat revealed that the connotation of the rise in temperature meant an increase in electricity and water usage and this resulted in consumption of 65 to 70 percent especially during summer.
Carbon emission and energy production activities were the main culprits of climate change, he said, noting that Kuwait has the capabilities to push forward for alternative energy resources to decrease pollution and protect the environment.
Meanwhile, meteorologist and former head of the Kuwaiti meteorology center Mohammad Karam urged legislators to put the issue of the environment on the top of their agenda, saying that such topics affected citizens and residents alike.
The increase in heat for example would lead to more energy consumption and pollution, he affirmed, saying that solving the problem was a requirement and not an afterthought.
Candidates must set their sight on protecting the environment to ensure a sustainable future for Kuwait and its people, he said, noting that increasing greenery and using alternative means of producing energy were vital tools to combat pollution. (end) mf.gta