Ad hoc working group to deal with polluting industries

February 8, 2016

TEHRAN — A working group will be assigned ad hoc to halt the activity of illegal industries and move polluting industries out of cities, the deputy director of Iran's Department of Environment, Sa’eed Motesaddi told a press conference on Saturday.

The working group, to be headed by the vice president for executive affairs Mohammad Shariatmadari, will operate in collaboration with Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mohammadreza Ne'matzadeh, Transport and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi, the chief of the Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar, and some other high-ranking authorities, Motesaddi noted.

He further pointed “this is the first time that a working group at the ministerial level is striving to decrease pollutants.”

There exist some 1370 polluting industries nationwide, he said, “of which 4 percent either received warning or were shut down.”

Based on the new rules, pollutant industries are not allowed to set up their factories within a 120 kilometers radius of the capital Tehran, 50 kilometers of Isfahan, and 30 kilometers of other metropolises.

******* Green industries to vie in international markets

Green industries which endeavor to operate in the most ecofriendly manner possible will be enabled to compete in global markets, he highlighted.

In a national conference on February 15, green industries and public utilities will be awarded with certificates which are an evidence of their ecofriendly activities and enable them to operate on the international level, he said.

He clarified that formerly the certificates were worthless as they had no international value, however since last year the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is approved of the certificates.

This year, he noted, in addition to UNIDO the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) [which functions in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development] certifies the green activities of these Iranian industries and public utilities as well.

The total score for being chosen as a green industry or a public utility is 100, he remarked, adding those units which succeed in obtaining 90 out of 100 will be picked as the top green units.

The least score for a unit to make it to the green industries is 70, he said.

“This year of the total 484 units 288 are industries and 196 are public utilities,” he said, stating solely one industrial unit and two public utilities were able to obtain the score to be counted as the top green units.

19 industries and 12 public utilities are chosen as green industries, he announced, and 16 industries and 7 public utilities whose scores were 65 to 70 will be thanked.

Motesaddi assured the conference that the whole process was done as objective as possible, and that the criteria which are laid down for a unit to be considered as green one are extremely strict.

******* 200 furnace rooms undergo inspection

Mentioning household pollutants Motesaddi pointed the inspection of 200 furnace rooms in a pilot plan and that 600,000 more are on agenda to be inspected.

“We are doing our best to minimize the furnace rooms’ emissions by applying smart heating systems particularly for the offices and organizations,” he said.

******* Sixth five-year development plan to manage the ecotax

The one percent ecological taxation expenditure will be discussed and resolved in the sixth five-year development plan (2016-2021), Motesaddi said.

He estimated that the one percent tax is about 2 to 3 trillion rials ($570,000 to $850,000) which must be spent on developing public transportation, waste management, and developing green spaces.

******* DoE to boost international co-op

“Our primary goal is to boost international cooperation and in line with that we had some negotiations with UNDP and we want to seek help from the Green Climate Fund specifically for the steel industry,” he noted.

The Green Climate Fund was established with a mission to advance the goal of keeping the temperature increase on our home planet below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Fund is a unique global initiative to respond to climate change by investing into low-emission and climate-resilient development. GCF was established by 194 governments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries, and to help adapt vulnerable societies to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Given the urgency and seriousness of the challenge, the Fund is mandated to make an ambitious contribution to the united global response to climate change.