Integrating Climate Security into Policies: Roadmap for Iraq

This roadmap identifies the urgent challenges and strategic directions necessary for integrating climate security into Iraq's policy landscape. It proposes actions for Iraqi authorities and their international partners to ensure Iraq accesses essential resources to address climate-related security challenges and achieve policy goals.
Integrating Climate Security into Policies: Roadmap for Iraq

As climate change increases water scarcity and intensifies heatwaves, millions of Iraqis are confronted with severe threats to their water, food, and livelihood security. Moving forward, climate change is likely to exacerbate divisions and compromise  political and social stability. It is crucial for authorities to design policies that recognise the interconnections between climate change, peace and security dynamics to effectively manage and mitigate these challenges. The key vulnerabilities identified include:

  • Water scarcity driven by climate change, heightening existing societal tensions and escalating conflict risks
  • Economic impacts on critical sectors that sustain Iraq’s most vulnerable populations, undermining social cohesion
  • Intensified urban migration and ongoing displacement challenges, further straining human security
  • Governmental capacity challenges in delivering public services and managing crises, which may fuel public discontent and destabilise the state

Despite the undeniable challenges posed by climate change to Iraq’s stability, it remains a low priority within government agendas, institutional mandates, and policy frameworks. Prioritising policies that focus on climate action, with an emphasis on fostering social cohesion, is essential to addressing the issues outlined in this report. The roadmap advocates a structured approach to policy integration, highlighting: 

  • Immediate steps to enhance climate change and security awareness and commitment
  • Short-term objectives to identify and empower national coordination bodies and to foster climate-related knowledge and skills development
  • Medium-term strategies for embedding climate security within national policies, ensuring they align with development plans and international commitments
  • Long-term goals to address programming and institutional barriers, facilitating effective climate change and security actions

This roadmap was supported by Weathering Risk and is one of four initiatives derived from research conducted under the year-long project adelphi implemented with CGIAR as part of the 'SDG-Climate Facility: Climate Action for Human Security' in the MENA region.

For a summary of the SDG-Climate Facility: Climate Action for Human Security project and an overview of its methodology, findings and recommendations, read Climate, Peace and Security Programming in the Arab States: Considerations for integrated programming in Jordan, Yemen, Iraq and Somalia.