By Batool Ghaith – Jun 11,2022

Jassim Hammadi (Photo courtesy of MEFED website)

AMMAN — More than 60 per cent of the natural gas flaring in Iraq has been captured, according to Iraq’s Environment Minister Jassim Hammadi.

Iraq has developed a roadmap to reduce gas flaring for the upcoming years, with the target of zero flaring by 2030, the minister told The Jordan Times, noting that it is the first time Iraq has made action plan for gas flaring. 

Hammadi was in Jordan to attend the MENA Europe Future Energy Dialogue (MEFED) last week. 

Iraq is the second largest gas flaring country after Russia, according to the World Bank, with around 40 per cent of its gas production flared. “The methane flaring is one of the most prominent and important issues that the Iraqi government is working on to reduce its emissions,” Hammadi stated.

The Global Methane Pledge, which was launched at COP26 in November 2021 and is led by the United States and the European Union, aims to catalyse action to reduce methane emissions. Over 100 countries are participating in the pledge, including Iraq, agreeing to take voluntary actions to contribute to a collective effort to reduce global methane emissions at least 30 per cent from 2020 levels by 2030, according to the pledge’s website.

The minister noted that Iraq joining the pledge is an “important step in the field of climate action”.

Iraq is working with the World Bank through its Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership (GGFR), which is a public-private initiative to achieve zero flaring by 2030, Hammadi said.

“Methane flaring and emission is one of the main causes of environmental pollution in Iraq,” he said, especially in areas of oil production, which is harmful for the health and lives of the people.

Stopping natural gas flaring and recovering all spilled gas is “sufficient”, as it would help Iraq reduce the use of oil for power generation and help supply the energy deficit, Hammadi said.