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Iraq

Iraq is an almost landlocked country in Western Asia bordered by Turkey, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria.  The Tigris and Euphrates rivers provide it with vast amounts of fertile lands compared to its relative desertic setting. These rivers also mark the zone where archeologists have uncovered the very first traces of scriptures and city civilisation on the planet. Uruk, an ancient settlement on the borders of the Euphrates, is a testament of the Sumer civilisation, at its height during the 4th millennium before Christ.


Modern-day Iraq was the centre of the Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires. Despite a pivotal role at every turn of history, Iraq was not an official political entity before 1920 and the establishment of the Kingdom of Iraq. This short-lived political system was overthrown by a revolution carried out by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party. Iraq then engaged military action against internal and external enemies such as Kurds and neighbouring Kuwait, Iran, Kurds, and the US.


The Iraqi regime is known to have used chemical weapons against its Kurd population during the Al-Anfal genocide which cost the lives of more than 100,000 Iraqi and Irani Kurds. In 2003 and despite UN opposition, the US declared war on Iraq and deployed the largest contingent abroad since the Vietnam War. The country’s political, social and infrastructural fabric was ripped apart by years of war. The American troops left the country in 2011 despite fights still going on in most of Iraq between rebels, loyalists, foreign forces and traffickers of all kinds.


Since 2008 and the tenure of multi-party elections, Iraq has struggled to get a grip on its territory. A radical group whose top members were released from the prisons of Iraq emerged as the dominant force: the Islamic State. By 2016, this organisation had control over the Western half of the country and made their own law over the majority of the Iraqi-Syrian desert. They have since lost most of this territory, beaten back by an international coalition. Iraq aspires to close the chapter of war and start writing a new one. For the good of the country, the region and the planet!

TOTAL POPULATION

35 million YEAR 2014

CO2 EMISSIONS

168,400 kt COUNTRY, YEAR 2014

2,593,200 kt Middle East and North Africa, YEAR 2014

“To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2035 from a business as usual scenario.”

PARIS AGREEMENT TARGET

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

IRAQ | ALL PROJECTS

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Andreyana Andreeva-Florian donated € 40 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. joe hasell donated € 20 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Milena Ivanova donated € 60 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Angel Georgiev donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Bozhana Zagorcheva donated € 5 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Leonardo Gaffuri donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Gianmarco Gallo donated € 30 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. anna minerva donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. marta tosi donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ildiko Milanovich donated € 50 to K'uxiub'al: Sustainable Energy for Healthy Families in San Andrés Itzapa. Ildiko Milanovich donated € 70 to Building an Efficient Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment. Ildiko Milanovich donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ildiko Milanovich donated € 50 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Robert Eckstein donated € 5 to Green Summit: Supporting Young People in Smaller Communities. Mariya Markova donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Francesca Devoto donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. john gaffey donated € 12 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Adi Lazos donated € 22 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Juliana Medaglia donated € 20 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. FREDERIC ACHARD donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Thalita Medaglia donated € 15 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. Katie Hereing donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Angelica Seminara donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Nevena Vlaykova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Melanie Bitto donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Cristiano Rocco Marra donated € 30 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ro Leaver donated € 30 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Phili Denning donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Isabel gregory donated € 20 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Akshay Pai donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Emma Burnett donated € 50 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Boyan Mihaylov donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. François Leclerc donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Clara Hermansson donated € 40 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Peter Thompson donated € 10 to Environmental Protection through Greenery and Awareness Interventions in Kabul and Wardak. Vihra Dincheva donated € 30 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Kris Bertens donated € 50 to Educating Montenegro's New Generation to Break Free from Litter and Plastic. Anna Lupanova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Simona Dakova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Neicho Rahnev donated € 10 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Pavel Boev donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Francesco Zanetto donated € 60 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Hind Alsalloom donated € 50 to Iraqi Youth Climate Change Movement. Francesca Cardani donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Michele Frison donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Fabio Sai donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Paola Tresca donated € 27 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Andrea Mongiello donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas.

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CLIMATE SIGNIFICANCE

For several decades now, the Middle East and especially Iraq, has been enduring a severe water crisis. The climate crisis this region is facing has been pointed as one of the main drivers of the Arab Springs and the Syrian Civil War. 

Desertification in the west of the country is rampant. The desert accounts for about a third of the country’s territory and progressing. The historically low levels of rivers, reservoirs and lakes in Iraq has put additional pressures on slow-to-recharge aquifers. Not only is their access harder, but the overstretching of this resource has caused an increased salinity of soils and a sharp drop in the fertility of lands. 

The situation is dire and has already amounted to violent conflict and disenfranchisement. The entire Middle-Eastern region needs to ramp up its climate resilience because the problem is not going away. As one of the leaders in oil production, it will take a long effort to transition from a fossil-powered economy to a sustainable one. Almost 90% of its total GHG emissions come from the sector of fossil fuel extraction. 

Iraq, one of the places of invention of agriculture, can barely provide for its own population. If it cannot have food security and export its grain, the entire region will suffer from it. Land-use change in Iraq has become a net carbon sink, meaning that the land is being used more for sustainable purposes than it is being developed for carbon-intensive activities.

Iraq has taken an ambitious stance regarding the Paris Agreement targets. Only 3% are conditioned by foreign aid despite their clear need for reconstruction. Iraq is an ambitious country with the will to achieve large and fast change. With the right help (yours), they will flourish once again. 

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DATA INSIGHTS

Iraq is an upper-middle-income country according to the World Bank classification.  To get a sense of Iraq’s position in the fight against climate change, it is vital to observe its history of carbon emissions and exposure to climate risk. The following plots provide an overview of Iraq’s historic greenhouse gas emissions in perspective with global emission levels, as well as the country’s relative vulnerability and preparedness to climate change.

Iraq Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Iraq’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change since 1990

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the full line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the dotted line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


Between 1990 and 2008, Iraq witnessed a sharp increase in its emissions of 38%. Overall and despite the long years of conflict, Iraq’s emissions have increased by 56% between 1990 and 2012.


The energy sector is responsible for the largest share (92%) of Iraq’s emissions, mainly driven by fugitive emissions from the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels. A high dependence on fossil fuel heat and electricity production (accounting for over 97% of Iraq’s energy supply in 2014) has also driven energy-related emissions. As such, Iraq has the opportunity to curb emissions by transitioning into renewable technologies and start to progressively wither away from pricier and less efficient oil fields. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)

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Iraq Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Iraq’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change since 1990

graph

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the full line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the dotted line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%.


Between 1990 and 2008, Iraq witnessed a sharp increase in its emissions of 38%. Overall and despite the long years of conflict, Iraq’s emissions have increased by 56% between 1990 and 2012.


The energy sector is responsible for the largest share (92%) of Iraq’s emissions, mainly driven by fugitive emissions from the extraction and distribution of fossil fuels. A high dependence on fossil fuel heat and electricity production (accounting for over 97% of Iraq’s energy supply in 2014) has also driven energy-related emissions. As such, Iraq has the opportunity to curb emissions by transitioning into renewable technologies and start to progressively wither away from pricier and less efficient oil fields. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)

Iraq Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

Iraq’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right.


Iraq is categorised as a country with high vulnerability to climate change and a low level of adaptation. Iraq’s food sector show the highest vulnerability to climate change. Cereal yields for staple crops such as rice, wheat and maize are forecasted to decline significantly; water resources like groundwater levels are under threat leading to longer drought periods and thereby paralysing the agriculture capacity and food security of the country. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.

TAKE ACTION

Iraq Climate Vulnerability and Readiness (CVRI)

Iraq’s vulnerability and readiness to combat climate change

graph

This graph ranks a country’s climate performance by measuring its readiness (x-axis) and its vulnerability (y-axis). Both are measured from 0 - 1 (1 being the most ready or most vulnerable). This index combines indicators of a country’s exposure to climate change and others that measure the country’s potential to withstand those shocks. 


Each dot in this plot represents a country. The countries in most urgent situations are on the top left of the graph whilst the most resilient ones stand at the bottom right.


Iraq is categorised as a country with high vulnerability to climate change and a low level of adaptation. Iraq’s food sector show the highest vulnerability to climate change. Cereal yields for staple crops such as rice, wheat and maize are forecasted to decline significantly; water resources like groundwater levels are under threat leading to longer drought periods and thereby paralysing the agriculture capacity and food security of the country. (Source: ND-GAIN, 2018)


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.

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IRAQ | ALL PROJECTS

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