In June, Iraq signed an agreement with Emirati-owned energy company Masdar to develop solar plants in central and southern parts of the country that can generate up to 2GW of power.
The deal is part of Iraq's wider plans to lessen its dependence on fossil fuels and diversify its economy. In parallel, it is indicative of the UAE's "climate diplomacy". That is, the use of its renewable energy capabilities to increase its ties with Iraq and counter the influence of regional powers such as Iran. While the Emirates has invested money in Iraq to this end since at least 2003, little will be gained if such projects do not materialise.
Emirati interests in Iraq
Iraq has long been an arena where rivalries between regional and international powers have played out. This is no truer than in the case of tensions between Iran and its neighbours in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the UAE. Since the US-led invasion, the Emirates has relied on soft power to keep Iranian influence in Iraq at bay. In doing so, it has been able to bolster its own defences and increase its ties across the region.