Climate Action and Conservation

Climate action & conservation

climate means change

Children sit along the banks of the Shatt al-Arab River in Al-Hartha, Basra province. Across the river is the Nahran Omar oil field, which flares natural gas and toxic chemicals despite the serious pollution and health consequences for area residents and the environment. March 2019. (Hawre Khalid)

Changing climate and poor resource management are causing major hardships for Iraqis. There are endless chains of cause-and-effect: 

  • Less rain = drying rivers = harder farming = lost jobs.
  • Food scarcity = higher prices = more hunger.
  • Permitted polluting = unsafe water = health problems. 
Combined with ongoing economic and political challenges, Iraq is having trouble adapting to these changes. Coordinated action by government and civil society is more essential than ever.
Children sit along the banks of the Shatt al-Arab River in Al-Hartha, Basra province. Across the river is the Nahran Omar oil field, which flares natural gas and toxic chemicals despite the serious pollution and health consequences for area residents and the environment. March 2019. (Hawre Khalid)

Changing climate and poor resource management are causing major hardships for Iraqis. There are endless chains of cause-and-effect: 

  • Less rain = drying rivers = harder farming = lost jobs.
  • Food scarcity = higher prices = more hunger.
  • Permitted polluting = unsafe water = health problems. 
Combined with ongoing economic and political challenges, Iraq is having trouble adapting to these changes. Coordinated action by government and civil society is more essential than ever.

our work

EPIC is working with leading Iraqi conservation organizations (like @humatdijlah and @WaterkeepersIQ) to improve communication and actions by the government, the United Nations, and Iraqi citizens to tackle these challenges.

  • Read our new briefing paper on climate change and conservation in Iraq.
  • We are conducting new research with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) that tracks the natural gas flaring practices involving international oil companies in Iraq. Join our email list to read the results as soon as they’re published.
  • An upcoming episode of the Iraq Matters podcast will feature interviews with leading Iraqi conservation activists.

climate action & conservation

New climate papers

What’s wrong and what should be done about climate change and conservation in Iraq

When the Tigris and Euphrates shrink, Iraq is at odds with Turkey’s water consumption and dam construction. Continuing gas flaring by oil companies pollutes the air and local neighborhoods. Rising seawater is poisoning Iraq’s ancient marshes. Read our latest analyses of this complex crisis. 

Two rows of gas flares glowing at the Zubair oilfield (top left) as seen from the International Space Station in September, 2013. (Image: NASA)

the burning question

Natural gas is a byproduct of oil extraction. It’s a usable fuel but expensive to contain and transport, so many oil producers burn their gas instead. It’s called flaring.

Flaring in Iraq puts nearly 30 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year, according to the World Bank. That’s one tenth of all the CO2 created by flaring on earth. 

EPIC is working with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) to collect and present information on the scope and impact of the flaring practices of international oil companies operating in Iraq.

Be the first to see the results. Join our email list.

the burning question

Natural gas is a byproduct of oil extraction. It’s a usable fuel but expensive to contain and transport, so many oil producers burn their gas instead. It’s called flaring.

Flaring in Iraq puts nearly 30 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year, according to the World Bank. That’s one tenth of all the CO2 created by flaring on earth. 

EPIC is working with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) to collect and present information on the scope and impact of the flaring practices of international oil companies operating in Iraq.

Be the first to see the results. Join our email list.

Deep dive with us

get to know iraq beyond the headlines. subscribe to epic's podcast now.

A special episode of Iraq Matters is now in production, focused on Iraq’s climate and natural resource crisis. Leading Iraqi provide a detailed picture of the serious challenges facing Iraqi citizens and government. 

Learn about Basra’s water crisis in this episode from our 2018 archive. 

Deep dive with us

get to know iraq beyond the headlines. subscribe to epic's podcast now.

A special episode of Iraq Matters is now in production, focused on Iraq’s climate and natural resource crisis. Leading Iraqi provide a detailed picture of the serious challenges facing Iraqi citizens and government. 

Learn about Basra’s water crisis in this episode from our 2018 archive.