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Iraq joined the CCAC in 2015, aiming to achieve its climate goals. They submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) ahead of the Paris Agreement and signed the agreement in December 2016. In the INDC, Iraq set ambitious targets to reduce GHG emissions by 15 percent below business-as-usual emissions by 2035.  

In 2021, the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq, submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). This NDC was comprised of several revised policies to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions while addressing other sectors including agriculture, waste, transport, and oil and gas.  

The NDC has a major focus on reducing methane emissions in key sectors including agriculture, waste, and oil & gas. Some of the highlighted measures include controlling the cultivation of crops with a higher methane footprint (e.g. rice cultivation), investing methane from landfills in electricity production, implementing an integrated waste management system. Moreover, the NDC aims to pass a Solid-Waste Management Act which would encourage waste recycling, energy conversion, and the elimination of waste incineration. The revised NDC also has a major focus on reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector in Iraq. Mitigation measures such as conducting regular detection programs for methane leaks at oil and gas facilities for repair (LDAR) in cooperation with international partners like Global Methane Alliance and other major oil and gas companies in Iraq are important to reduce the country's methane emissions.  

To further build and improve the country’s resilience to climate change, in 2020, the government of Iraq, in partnership with UN Environment Programme (UNEP), launched a process to develop a National Adaptation Plan (NAP). The NAP process aims to reduce vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change, mainly through strategic planning based on projections of future climate change.  

Learn more about Iraq's climate and clean air policies below.

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Air Quality


  • The Nationally Determined Contribution submitted in 2021 included several agriculture-related policies such as controlling the cultivation of methane-producing crops, aiming to enhance the country’s food security while reducing emissions.  


  • The 2013 National Environmental Strategy and Action Plan for Iraq concentrated on the development and improvement of the waste management. Under this, one strategy aimed to encourage producers and importers to decrease the production and manufacturing of wastes, develop recyclable products, and import environment-friendly materials. 
  • The 2021 NDC also focused on waste management as an important sector. The country aims to pass the Solid Waste Management Act, which encourages waste recycling, energy conversion, and the elimination of waste incineration. Through waste-related policies, Iraq aims to support integrated waste management and enhance and improve its management and recycling of solid waste energy production and conservation as well. 

Oil and Gas

  • As a major oil producer, Iraq has prioritized its oil and gas sector in most of its policy frameworks. Both the National Development Strategy of 2005 and Iraqi Law of Protection and Improvement of the Environment of 2009 consisted of policies to protect the environment from pollution resulting from oil and gas exploration and extraction. 
  • The Nationally Determined Contribution of 2021 aimed to ensure minimal environmental impact. The NDC also emphasised conducting regular detection programs for methane leaks at oil and gas facilities for repair (LDAR), in cooperation with international partners such as Global Methane Alliance and oil and gas companies operating in Iraq. 


  • The 2021 NDC targets the transport sector to reduce the climate and environmental impact of energy consumption in the country. It includes everal policies targeting the public transport and railway system, with the overall aim to increase the efficiency of transportation, improve living patterns, and enhance relience to the negative effects of climate change. 


Ministry of Environment

Related resources

News from Iraq