People, Environment

Reducing Air Pollution a Roads Ministry Priority

Reducing Air Pollution a Roads Ministry PriorityReducing Air Pollution a Roads Ministry Priority

Improving the energy efficiency of key sectors and reducing air pollution are high on the agenda of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, a deputy at the ministry said.

Pirouz Hanachi also said that renovating and expanding Iran's rail network are one of the key plans of the ministry to help slash carbon emissions and improve air quality.

"Improving the efficiency of rail transportation is paramount to moving away from fossil fuels," he was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Hanachi suggested that the same strategy can be used in cities, which will help reduce the urban heat islands.

UHI is a metropolitan area that's a lot warmer than the rural areas surrounding it, mainly due to human activities.

He stressed that energy consumption in residential and commercial sectors must be optimized.

"At present, 34% of energy are wasted in these two sectors," Hanachi added.

Buildings are very energy-intensive, gobbling up 50% of electricity and 40% of gas consumption. This is about four times the global average, which is unacceptable. Industrial units account for the bulk of energy use in developed countries.

Last year, Iran announced that it would embark on a joint research project with the UN Industrial Development Organization to reduce its carbon footprint by optimizing energy generation and consumption.

A signatory to the historic Paris Agreement, Iran has pledged to reduce its emissions by 4% by 2030 relative to the business-as-usual scenario. The government says Iran can increase its pledge to 12%, subject to financial assistance from the international community.

Official estimates suggest that $17.5 billion in investment are needed to ensure Iran meets its unconditional pledge of 4% reduction in emissions by 2030. To meet the conditional pledge of 12% reduction, it would need about $35 billion in international aid.

According to Iran Meteorological Organization, the country’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 3% in the past decade.


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