Turk ends 4-day visit to Iraq

UN High Commissioner warns Iraq’s climate challenges serve as a global alarm

BAGHDAD, August 9 — Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated on Wednesday that the rising temperatures and drought faced by Iraq serve as a ‘global alarm’ that the Earth has entered an new era of climate change.

Türk’s remarks came at the conclusion of his four-day visit to Iraq, during which he met with officials and conducted field visits to various cities, while temperatures reached close to 50 degrees Celsius across the country.

During a press conference in Baghdad, the High Commissioner stated:

“In 50-degree-Celsius heat, in the midst of drought-ridden and barren fields, local community leaders and representatives showed me pictures of the lush date palm trees that – just 30 years ago – lined parts of the now dried-up Shatt-al-Arab waterway,” he said.

“Standing in searing heat in that scarred landscape, breathing air polluted by the many gas flares dotting the region, it was clear to me that the era of global boiling has indeed begun,” he addded.

Turk recognized Iraqi officials’ efforts to combat climate change in the country and said more was needed to allow affected communities to participate in environmental policy.