Collaborative Efforts to Reduce Methane Emissions in Iraq

by Clean Air Task Force (CATF) - 21 June, 2024
Under the framework of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the International Energy Agency (IEA) hosted Iraq’s Ministry of Oil and Ministry of Environment at their offices together with Clean Air Task Force (CATF), Carbon Limits, and UNEP’s International Methane Emissions Observatory (IMEO) on the 28th and 29th of May to discuss ways to drive down methane emissions in the oil and gas sector.

To kick off this two-day workshop, the IEA introduced its Methane Tracker, an interactive database of country and regional estimates for methane emissions and abatement options, while also highlighting the urgency of methane mitigation for climate and public health.

CATF followed with a presentation on Iraq’s methane emissions inventory, calculated using their Country Methane Abatement Tool (CoMAT), a free-to-use software that allows governments to estimate the methane pollution from their country’s oil and gas industry and develop mitigation plans that can reduce emissions. Iraqi officials then received training on using CoMAT to identify opportunities for reducing emissions and learned about successful policies implemented in other countries.

UNEP’s IMEO then introduced its Methane Alert and Response System and shared preliminary results of satellite analysis of methane emissions carried out for Iraq, which included data on the 29 most persistent sources of methane emissions seen through satellites. This was followed by technical training on emission sources and technologies to abate emissions led by Carbon Limits.

The workshop concluded with a presentation from the Iraqi government, detailing their progress in reducing flaring and outlining future plans to continue these efforts. The Iraqi Ministry of Environment also shared the latest updates on its climate policy and efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. In a gesture of hospitality, the Iraqi officials brought delicious date pastries and sweets, which were warmly received by all participants.

This workshop is the first of two in-person meetings funded by the CCAC in collaboration with the Iraqi government. The second workshop is scheduled for December or January and will focus on presenting Iraq’s methane mitigation assessment and other project deliverables.