Iran Targets 12% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Iran Targets 12% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Iran Targets 12% Cut in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Iran, one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide, is targeting a 12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Massoumeh Ebtekar, head of the Department of Environment, was quoted by the local media on Saturday as saying that Iran’s climate action plan — approved by the government last week — aims to curb the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by overhauling policies and investing in new technology.

The Financial Tribune reached out to the department for comment.

“Iran’s unconditional pledge is a 4% reduction relative to the business-as-usual scenario,” said Mohammad Sadeq Ahadi, deputy director of the Climate Change Office at the DOE, adding that emissions cuts can be increased to 12% if certain conditions are met.

Ahadi, who is one of the main contributors to Iran’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, said the unconditional pledge means national resources will be used to curb emissions.

“But the conditional goal will only be met with international assistance,” he said.

He noted, however, that Iran will not be able to meet its targets “as long as western economic sanctions against Iran are in place,” echoing sentiments expressed by senior energy and environmental officials in the past month.

In addition to overhauling energy production and consumption policies, Iran’s INDC outlines measures to tackle wasteful, traditional and visibly unsustainable farming practices.

Stressing the need to adapt to climate change, Ebtekar told IRNA that the plan aims to introduce up-to-date farming methods, reduce water consumption in farming/agriculture and slash the use of pesticides.

“The plan is the result of a year-long effort by different entities, and cooperation between all relevant bodies is key to meeting our goals,” she said.

Iran’s annual carbon emission exceeds 712 million tons, making it the world’s 11th largest emitter of the gas.

According to international bodies, Iran contributes 1.05% to global greenhouse gas emissions, whereas Iranian officials say Iran produces 800 million tons of carbon dioxide, which account for 1.8% of the world’s GHG emissions.

  Deadline Missed

Last month, Iran announced that it planned to submit its final INDC to the United Nations by mid-November, having missed the informal deadline of October 1 along with a handful of other countries.

Iranian authorities were planning to submit the plan to the UN during President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to Paris later this week, but the tragedy that unfolded in the French capital late Friday, which has killed at least 150 people and injured 200 at the time of writing — forced the president to cancel his highly-anticipated trip and it is unclear whether the recent developments will change the schedule of Iran’s INDC submission.

As of November 12, about 162 countries have submitted their INDCs to the UN, including the top 10 emitters, making Iran the largest carbon dioxide producer that has yet to submit its climate action plan.

Earlier this month, the UN said the submitted plans were not enough to limit a rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, a threshold seen by scientists as avoiding the most devastating effects of climate change.

The emission pledges will be the building blocks for a UN deal expected at a meeting of world leaders in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 to fight global warming in the years from 2020.

Poorer nations, which might be the most vulnerable to climate change, have said negotiators should not abandon hope of limiting temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees Celsius even if targets on the table in Paris are less ambitious.