80 billion dollars in its treasury.. Iraq is living the "worst case scenario" between the energy and political crises
Reports & Analytics Iraq breaking Politics and climate crisis
Shafaq News / A press report revealed today, Monday, that
Iraq fell into the "worst scenario" in light of the global climate crisis and the current political stalemate, and
while officials revealed that $80 billion in revenues entered the country without actually benefiting from it, economists confirmed that
"Iraq is losing on many fronts.
"Reuters" agency said in a report translated by Shafak News Agency;
"The exacerbation of the climate crisis in Iraq, and the continuation of the political stalemate negatively affect the government's ability to deal with climatic and environmental challenges."
According to estimates by political analysts,
"the ongoing political stalemate has left Iraq without a functioning government and with little hope of taking effective measures to adapt to climate challenges, despite the flow of tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues to the country's coffers."
The report quoted Zainab Shukr, a professor of Iraqi sociology at the American University of Sam Houston, as saying that
"the political crisis adds a layer of complexity to the climate crisis," adding that
"the worst scenario is what is happening now." The report indicated that
"Iraq is mired in a political quagmire that has left it without a functioning government for nearly a year, the worst since 2003," adding that
"Parliament has failed to agree on a new president or a new prime minister since the elections last October, while The struggle for power has turned into bloody street clashes." Meanwhile,
Iraqis "are facing an uphill struggle with the effects of global warming, knowing that temperatures in Baghdad increased by 1.7 degrees Celsius between 1960 and 2021, according to studies by the American organization "Berkeley Earth" specialized in environmental data sciences.
While Iraq is the fifth most vulnerable country to the effects of climate change in the world, the report stated that
"the scarcity of water resources is increasing in light of the decline in supplies, while the dams built by Turkey and Iran lead to less water reaching the riverbeds into Iraq."
According to the International Organization for Migration,
"20,000 people were displaced in Iraq by the end of 2021 due to water scarcity and moved from rural areas to urban cities." After the report pointed out that
"Iraq achieves large financial revenues of more than 80 billion dollars within eight months due to the effects of high prices globally in light of the Ukrainian war," Yasar al-Maliki, an analyst at the Middle East Economic Survey, which specializes in energy news, was quoted as saying that
"Some of this revenue could be harnessed towards climate initiatives." The report stated that
"despite these unexpected financial gains, policy makers do not have access to the bulk of these funds until the new budget is passed, and
government agencies must now rely on emergency financing mechanisms,
which means that the government cannot Negotiating water with neighboring governments such as Turkey.
The report quoted al-Maliki and other political analysts that
"the absence of a government and stable public spending, prevents the achievement of a long-term strategy aimed at dealing with the climate crisis and other issues," while experts expressed their belief that
"even in the event of a new government being formed, it may fall prey to political conspiracies driven by corruption and nepotism."
An Iraqi economic official, who asked not to be identified, said that
instead of tackling climate problems,
Iraqi politicians would be more interested in "sharing the cake."
According to al-Maliki,
"Iraq is losing on many fronts."
In addition, the report pointed out that political paralysis poses a threat to major infrastructure projects that can support water supplies and launch green energy projects.
For example, the report indicated that
“in September 2021, Iraq signed a deal with the giant (Total) company to develop infrastructure, including in the areas of solar energy, worth 27 billion dollars, and also included financing projects in Basra. This is where the bulk of Iraq's oil is located.
According to Al-Maliki,
"increasing salinity, construction of dams and drought have destroyed the water resources in the region, which has caused an increase in competition for water resources between the oil industry, farmers and citizens."
The deal with Total included
“investment in a project to use sea water instead of fresh water to pump it into oil fields in order to extract crude oil, in addition to setting up a solar power plant,” while
“Reuters” quoted sources earlier this year, That
"the deal is faltering and is now threatened with cancellation."
The report said that
"the final touches require the approval of the various government ministries and its signature by the two new oil and finance ministers, and
they are among the positions that have not been filled so far due to political tension."
According to the former Iraqi official,
"the tense political situation may lead to the erosion of the collected oil wealth, as
its value has declined due to inflation, indicating that
this may mean the loss of billions."
"We're like a car stuck in the mud, our tires are spinning, but we're not getting anywhere," the former official said.
Translation: Shafak News Agency