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From Threat to Opportunity: Harnessing Climate Change to Build a Prosperous Future for Iraq and the Region


Climate change and environmental degradation are adding serious strain to Iraqi coping capacities and governance mechanisms in a county already struggling with elevated water scarcity, instability and demographic growth. Widely recognised as a country at high-risk from climate change, Iraq faces the urgent need to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon resources, while developing mechanisms of cooperation and co-dependency with regional neighbours to provide sustenance and opportunities to its youthful population. Drawing on Iraq’s history as a trade hub and bread basket for the region, Iraq and its neighbours need to urgently work together to overcome divisions and plan for a better future if the challenge of climate change is to be transformed into an opportunity capable of promoting stability and integration in an increasingly fragile Middle East.

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