The Ther Development Center, in cooperation with the Iraqi Alliance for Transparency in Extractive Industries, held on November 20, 2021 the Fifth Economic Forum, under the slogan (For an optimal investment of energy and its resources in Iraq) at the Tammuz Hall in the Sheraton Hotel – Baghdad. The forum discussed key development issues related to investment in extractive industries.
In the presence of 144 participants from activists and academics and 10 speakers from specialists, three axes were discussed in the forum, which dealt with: energy transition and the need to invest in the renewable energy sector to meet the needs of the country, prospects for development in public budgets to reduce deviation from strategic development plans, by setting performance indicators that help in maximizing Development impact, investment contracts in the field of energy, with an explanation of the concept of transparency of contracts and the obligations incurred by the member states of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in publishing those contracts according to the International Initiative standard for the year 2019.
Through the interventions and questions, the researchers reached a number of recommendations, the most important of which are:
1- Reducing the flaring of gas associated with oil extraction, which has reached more than 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day, and investing it economically.
2- Iraqi refineries must be modernized in order to produce environmentally friendly light derivatives and provide environmentally friendly technologies to reduce pollution. And the need to work on issuing environmental impact measurement reports in a neutral and reliable manner.
3- Shifting towards building budgets for measurable programs and projects that can draw clear directions for development and sustainable development instead of the current budgets that are dominated by operating expenses par excellence.
4- Raising awareness of the importance of financial inclusion and e-government applications to reach all government sectors in their dealings in order to manage citizens’ affairs and to reduce financial and administrative corruption.
5- Reviewing the implementation of the white paper and showing its economic and social repercussions on the living situation.
6- Work to publish oil contracts with their appendices and amendments and make them available to specialists and the public, while benefiting from Iraqi experiences in reviewing the terms of those contracts and activating the defaulted ones, especially with regard to social benefits, training, environmental protection and others.
7- The new parliament should issue a law to reduce carbon emissions in Iraq due to its importance in accelerating the energy transition towards clean energy, protecting the environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and gas flaring, and supporting transparent disclosure of contracts in the extractive industries sector.
8- Urging the Iraqi Initiative for Transparency in the Extractive Industries on the importance of expediting the implementation of requirement 1.2 of the International Initiative standard for the year 2019 that all licensing round contracts signed, granted or amended by Iraq must be disclosed after the date of January 1, 2021, with the International Initiative demanding that the contracts in force be included. Currently in the disclosure process due to the length of its remaining validity period in Iraq.