People, Environment

IMO Admonishes the DOE

IMO Admonishes the DOE  IMO Admonishes the DOE

An official at Iran’s Meteorological Organization has called the handling of Iran’s climate change issue by the Department of Environment “redundant” and accused the DOE of “encroaching on IMO territory.”

Ali Abedini, deputy for development and forecasting, told ISNA that the IMO had requested the DOE to let the meteorological organization take the lead in climate talks, but the DOE refused.

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the international entity responsible for climate change talks, and in our country the IMO is the panel’s representative,” he said.

“Naturally, it should be the IMO and its head (Davoud Parhizkar) that leads Iran’s efforts to help mitigate climate change and its effects.”

The IMO intends to table its argument at a future Cabinet meeting.

This is while in most other countries it is the top environment authority that handles policy and issues related to climate change. An exception is the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is a global leader in monitoring and studying atmospheric and climatic conditions.

Abedini believes that delegating the authority on Iran’s efforts to adapt to climate change to the IMO “will be beneficial.”

“As the body in charge of weather monitoring and forecast, the IMO is well positioned to lead the country’s efforts against global warming,” he said, before taking a swipe at the DOE by saying that the IMO “is capable” of also cooperating with other organizations and ministries.

Massoumeh Ebtekar, the head of the DOE, has regularly come under attack by conservative MPs for what they claim to be her inability to address the country’s pressing environmental concerns, seemingly oblivious to the department’s meager $52 million budget. On November 30, she joined over 140 world leaders and lead climate negotiators in Paris to help craft a historic deal aimed at limiting global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The IMO itself does not have a stellar record of getting along with other government bodies: Last month it was embroiled in a public war-of-words with the Energy Ministry over whether the weather phenomenon known as El Nino would impact Iran this winter.

The Rouhani administration has pledged to slash Iran’s greenhouse gas emissions by 4% relative to the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, while its conditional pledge, i.e. subject to international assistance, targets a 12% reduction.

Iran emits around 800 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, making it one of the world’s top 10 emitters of greenhouse gases.