In view of the climate crisis and other geopolitical challenges, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock insists on adequate funding for aid projects such as those in Iraq. The country and the region are in danger of becoming a pawn in the geopolitical tensions, said the Green politician on Friday at the end of her four-day visit to Iraq. “Integrated security policy is done with a lot of diplomacy, you do it with a lot of international cooperation. But that also requires financial resources,” she said.

Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has postponed the presentation of the key figures for the 2024 budget, which is planned for next week. His ministerial colleagues had announced additional requests amounting to 70 billion euros, for which Lindner sees no leeway.

Baerbock now said that the national security strategy planned under the auspices of the Federal Foreign Office not only addresses the issue of the Bundeswehr’s ability to defend itself, but also supports international operations such as in Iraq. “And it is well known that money is needed for this.” It is designed “that we do not just look at the financial resources that we provide for this for each department alone, but in an integrated approach,” she said. “And the finance minister and I talked about this intensively in our budget negotiations.”

Environmental problems on the Euphrates and Tigris

Against the background of the current geopolitical tensions, Baerbock also addressed the importance of Iraq. Different actors tried to take advantage of the challenges that were emerging in the country. The Russian and Iranian foreign ministers were there before her. This underscores the fact that Iraq and the region are once again at risk of becoming a pawn in the geopolitical tensions. Iraq is also one of the countries that suffers the most from the effects of climate change.

On Friday, Baerbock visited the swamp area at the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris, the so-called marshes in southeastern Iraq. These have been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016. Due to increasing water scarcity, the population is deprived of their livelihood in fishing and agriculture. According to the United Nations Environment Program, Iraq is the fifth most affected country by climate change. At the same time, the country itself is contributing to the climate crisis, since the economy is based almost exclusively on oil and gas production.

According to the Federal Foreign Office, the federal government is supporting various climate and water projects in Iraq. According to the federal government, Germany supports a mediation project in connection with stabilization and peacebuilding that focuses on the effects of climate change.