Paris Agreement targets
As of July 2021, Iran has signed but not ratified the Paris Agreement, meaning its climate pledge remains ‘intended’. In its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) released in 2015, Iran pledges to reduce emissions by 4% (unconditional reduction) or 12% (conditional reduction) below business as usual (BAU) by 2030. Based on our calculations, this would translate to an unconditional reduction of 81 MtCO2e and a conditional reduction of around 240 MtCO2e compared to BAU in 2030. The INDC does not provide a BAU which makes it very difficult to assess. In the absence of a clear reference, we use the 2025 BAU provided in the Third National Communication. Values between 2026–2030 are calculated with a five-year trend from emissions growth in 2021–2025.
The INDC mentions various unquantified measures to reach the unconditional pledge, including the development of combined cycle power plants, renewable and nuclear energy, as well as a reduction in gas flaring and energy efficiency measures in end-use sectors.
With international support in the form of finance, technology transfer, and capacity building, the target could be increased to 12% of emissions reductions below BAU by 2030. However, the INDC states that both the conditional and unconditional pledges are subject to an absence of international sanctions.
All greenhouse gases are covered under the INDC and it seems the target is economy-wide, including emissions from LULUCF, although this is not explicitly specified.
The CAT rates Iran’s internationally supported target as “Critically Insufficient” and its fair share target as “Critically Insufficient”.
Iran's intended internationally supported, conditional NDC target is far above domestic pathways (as modelled through global least cost pathways) compatible with the Paris Agreement. The CAT rates it as “Critically insufficient”, which indicates that Iran’s internationally supported target in 2030 reflects minimal to no action and is not at all consistent with the 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Iran’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C.
The CAT rates Iran’s unconditional target as “Critically Insufficient” against its fair share range. Iran’s unconditional target pledges an emissions reduction of 4% below business as usual in 2030. Using the 2025 business as usual scenario provided in the Third National Communication, extrapolated from 2025 to 2030, this would lead to emissions increasing by around 410% compared to 1990 levels. Iran’s target is not in line with any interpretation of a fair approach to meeting the 1.5°C limit. If all countries were to follow Iran’s approach, warming would exceed 4°C.
Further information on how the CAT rates countries (against modelled pathways and fair share) can be found here <Add link to methods page>.
Last NDC update
Up until the time of this assessment in August 2021, Iran has not officially submitted its first NDC, as it has not ratified the Paris Agreement. Iran has submitted an intended NDC (INDC), which would become its first NDC after ratification of the Paris Agreement.