The UN in Iraq Goes Green

The UN in Iraq Goes Green: Taking a trip with the ‘Renewable Energy Travelling Roadshow’

The latest installation at the UN compound in Baghdad is big, blue, and rather pungent. It is also the first step towards a greener and more sustainable UN in Iraq. The large contraption sits in the garden under the trees. It is a biodigestor, a simple but highly effective container that processes manure and kitchen waste to produce organic fertilizer and biogas for cooking.

With the inauguration of the biodigestor on 18 April, the UN made a firm commitment to going even greener, a commitment that fits with the Organization’s global goal to reduce its carbon footprint.

Since a landmark speech in 2007, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has pushed for the UN to lead by example on environmental issues. With offices across the world, the UN is well aware that working for peace and prosperity for all consumes resources, and leaves a footprint on the environment. As concerns about global warming mount, the UN recognizes that it cannot champion climate change initiatives without looking first to its own backyard.

“Our footprint should be as light as possible,” said Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Ms. Jacqueline Badcock. “By greening our own backyard we hope to improve the UN’s engagement with the environment and work towards a greener Iraq.”

As part of this strategy, the UN in Iraq went on a ‘Renewable Energy Travelling Roadshow’ from 13-22 April. Sponsored by the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy of the United States of America, in collaboration with the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology, and Baghdad University of Technology, the roadshow brought world-renowned Iraqi-Irish National Geographic explorer and renewable energy expert, Dr Taha Rasamm Culhane, to town.

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