People, Environment

Rouhani Gov’t Unveils Climate Roadmap

Rouhani Gov’t Unveils Climate RoadmapRouhani Gov’t Unveils Climate Roadmap

The government on Sunday unveiled Iran’s climate plan of action and instructed relevant bodies to do their share to help Iran meet its climate change pledge.

The instructions were issued during a Cabinet meeting, according to a statement on the official government website

Last month, Iran announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a maximum of 12% by 2030, subject to international assistance. Official reports indicate Iran emits around 800 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, making it one of the world’s top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases.

Official estimates suggest that $17.5 billion in investment are needed to ensure Iran meets its unconditional pledge, i.e. without international aid, of 4% reduction in emissions by 2030.

To meet its conditional pledge of 12% reduction, Iran would need $52.5 billion.

The instructions explicitly state the need for significant policy reform in the energy sector, which is responsible for over 90% of Iran’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, policy reforms must also be accompanied by modern technology to which Iran will not have easy access until the international sanctions are lifted.

Iran had targeted a 30% reduction in energy use based on the Fifth Five-Year Economic Development Plan (2011-16), but the crippling economic sanctions prevented the country from meeting its target. In fact, the setback amplified Iran’s energy consumption.

The Rouhnai administration aims to implement a Measuring, Reporting and Verification System, called the National MRV System, by 2020. The system provides authorities with reliable information on emissions and mitigation actions.

According to the statement, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and moving toward a low-carbon, green economy is of utmost importance to Iran and its future.

The fact that Iran has become increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the past several decades discounts recent reports that it is well positioned to adapt to and overcome climate challenges.