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Under Poisoned Skies (2022)

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UnderPoisonedSkies.2022.x265.mkv 55m44s 1280x720 HEVC AAC

BBC News Arabic uncovers the impact of oil giants’ toxic air pollution on the planet through gas flaring, and reveal how flares are putting the lives of children and adults at serious risk.

Gas flaring, the harmful practice of burning excess natural gas during oil production, contributes to global warming through carbon dioxide and methane emissions. That’s why all the top oil companies and many countries have pledged to end routine flaring by 2030.

But in 2021, Iraq was the world's second-worst gas flaring country and is warming twice as fast as the global average. Under Poisoned Skies uncovers how some of the world’s biggest oil companies have managed to avoid declaring a substantial amount of flaring emissions, giving the impression to investors and the public that they are on track to hit these targets.

Filmed in southern Iraq, home to some of the world’s biggest oil fields, the documentary also follows Professor Shukri, a professor of environmental pollution, as he tries to find out why people living near gas flares say, for them, “cancer is like the flu”. People like 20 year-old, cancer survivor Ali, who lives in the middle of an oil field that he and his friends describe as “the cemetery”.

With advice from global pollution experts, Professor Shukri conducts tests to measure pollution levels near oil fields. The tests are the first-time public data on pollution levels have been conducted in these communities. The results are concerning, and prompt Professor Shukri to ask "why are we paying the price for this smoke which comes from the oil companies?”