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Iraq approves Paris climate accord in step toward curtailing oil dependence

Iraq faces significant hurdles in transitioning to an economy without oil dependence, and future trends can be expected to exacerbate those challenges.
An Iraqi Arab farmer looks at arid agricultural land in the Hawijah district of Kirkuk in northern Iraq on January 29, 2011. A worsening water shortage in Iraq is raising tensions in the multi-ethnic Kirkuk province, where Arab farmers accuse the Kurdistan region of ruining them by closing the valves to a dam in winter.  AFP PHOTO/MARWAN IBRAHIM (Photo credit should read MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP via Getty Images)

With a stroke of his pen last Wednesday, Iraq’s President Barham Salih approved the parliament’s September vote to accede to the Paris Agreement, an international treaty to combat global warming. 

As one of the last of the 197 signatory countries to ratify the deal, the move signifies Baghdad’s intent to transition from heavy dependence on oil to more renewable energy sources. Iraq’s oil production has nearly doubled over the past decade and accounts for 99% of exports and more than 90% of central government revenue. 

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