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    Iran says it is world’s ninth biggest polluter

    November 18, 2016


    BLEAK — A bird (lower left) takes in the skyline of Tehran—or what he can see of it as pollutants descended on the city Sunday.

    Iran is the ninth biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the world although it ranks 17th in terms of population, Masumeh Ebtekar, the head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Agency, told the Majlis Sunday before it voted on joining the new Paris agreement on climate change.

    Ebtekar said Iran was such a major polluter due to years of pursuing the wrong model for energy consumption.

    After hearing her out, the Majlis approved joining the Paris Agreement with a vote of 149 in favor, just six opposed and eight abstentions.  That meant just 56 percent of the body’s 290 members bothered to show up for the vote.

    Ebtekar said, “Our energy consumption is five times more than the world average and nine times more than the European average, and that with the lowest efficiency.”

    She said Iran was the seventh-biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world two years ago, and has at least made a two-place improvement since 2014.

    Ebtekar said the Paris Agreement contains no sanctions or penalties for violations.

    “By signing up to the Agreement, we can obtain many benefits for combating climate change and preserving our forests and wetlands,” she said.

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