Iraq reaffirms commitment to climate action under the Paris Agreement: Draft nationally determined contributions document finalized

June 5, 2021

Erbil- Iraq, through the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq, has renewed its commitment to combating climate change by finalizing the final draft of its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) document to the Paris Agreement, and including commitments on reducing greenhouse gases emissions.

A vote was taken unanimously by representatives of the relevant ministries on the draft NDC – a global commitment to reducing national emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change – to endorse its submission to the Iraqi Council of Ministers for final approval. Upon approval, it will be submitted to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

One of the most critical targets in the final draft relates to Iraq’s mitigation of greenhouse gases. It commits to implementing its nationally determined contributions from 2021 until 2030, leading to a 1-2% reduction of its emissions.

Discussions took place this week during a consultation workshop in Erbil, attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health and Environment, represented by the Technical Deputy Minister for Environmental Affairs, Dr. Jassem Al-Falahi, and the Administrative and Financial Deputy Minister, Dr. Kamran Ali Hassan, as well as Mr. Abdul Rahman Siddiq, Head of the Protection Authority and improving the environment in the Kurdistan region, and representatives from Kurdistan Region and the federal Ministries such as Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Electricity, and Ministry of Oil, the private sector, and civil society organizations.

In his speech during the announcement, the Technical Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health and Environment, Dr. Jassim Al-Falahi: "In the name of Allah, and in the name of Iraq, I announce the approval of the Nationally Determined Contributions Document by the Iraqi National Team unanimously. I congratulate our people and our coming generations with this document, which is a roadmap towards the future. Only dreamers achieve results. All towards a sustainable, green Iraq.”

"Iraq faces many challenges posed by climate change, including increased temperatures, drought, and increase in sand and dust storms and related disaster shocks, all which create barriers to progressing development efforts in the country. UNDP appreciates the great efforts made by the Iraqi government to address these challenges, since joining the climate change agreement in 2009,” says Resident Representative of UNDP in Iraq, Zena Ali Ahmad.

"To enhance these efforts and effectively promote the adaptation and resilience of the Iraqi people, UNDP Iraq has supported the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region to develop NDCs that promote a green economy in Iraq. The final outputs from this workshop will contribute to Iraq's commitment to climate action and will serve as policy overall climate change in the country. UNDP will continue to support these efforts as the policies are implemented over the coming years,” she adds.

The NDC document is one of the most important documents that are intended to draw the shape of economic change in the world by the inclusion of the concept of green economy, focusing on renewable energies and clean mechanisms, and trying not to exceed the rate of global temperature 1.5 °C above the mean of the global temperature before the industrial revolution. Iraq NDC will attract new investment opportunities and provide more engagement for private sector in the Climate Change field.

Media contact:

Mohammed Al-Bahbahanee, Communications Specialist | +9647704399222