A Voluntary Carbon Market in need of Carbon Pricing Policy in Turkey

A Voluntary Carbon Market in need of Carbon Pricing Policy in Turkey

Turkey does not currently mandate a carbon pricing policy. However, projects for the Voluntary Carbon Market, established within the framework of the principle of environmental and social responsibility, have been developed and implemented for a long time.

A Voluntary Carbon Market is a market created to facilitate the voluntary reduction and balancing of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the voluntary activities of individuals, institutions and organizations, companies and non-governmental organizations. The fact that there is no public policy mandating citizen involvement is one of the most important differences that distinguish voluntary carbon markets from government carbon pricing programs. Emission credits traded in this market are called Voluntary Emission Reduction Units –VER. Companies that want to balance the greenhouse gasses they create (emit into the atmosphere) calculate their emission amounts (by measuring their carbon footprints) and purchase carbon credits produced by projects that provide emission reduction in order to reduce and balance these emissions within the framework of social responsibility.

Turkey’s VER began with a statement published in the official government gazette in 2013 for the registration and monitoring of projects developed for the voluntary carbon market. According to this statement, the projects which obtained carbon certificate should register to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization submitting together with their certificates and reports.

Turkey is also assessing the possibility of implementing an official government carbon pricing mechanism. Turkey is working with the World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) program to explore Turkey’s low carbon development policies, and potential use of market-based instruments. As part of this work, an assessment is being conducted on the consideration of establishment and operation of an ETS for Turkey.

Although there is no direct carbon taxation regulation in Turkey, there are other regulations such as Motor Vehicle Tax and Value Added Tax which have an indirect effect on emission reduction. According to the 1st article of the Value Added Tax Law the cost of each product that imposes negative costs on the environment, especially carbon based fuels, is due to VAT. This tax can also be classified in environmental taxes since it has increased. However, since the Value Added Tax is based on the amount of consumption, not the damage of the tax subject to the environment, we can also mention that this tax serves financial purposes rather than environmental purposes.

Activity Rating: ** Standing Still

A carbon market in Turkey is carried out by volunteer efforts. There is no government supported system. It is observed that there has been an increase in volunteer efforts every year which can help lay the groundwork for a government supported market.

Take Action


Turkey needs to implement a national emissions trading system (ETS) or a mandatory carbon tax. Turkey’s collaboration with the World Bank’s PMR Program provides the background and experience needed to implement such a program. We urge your ministry to take the steps needed to put in place an ETS as soon as possible.

Contact Person:

Deputy Minister of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin BİRPINAR

Phone: 0 (312) 424 09 98

Mail: mehmet.birpinar@csb.gov.tr

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This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Ozlem Duyan

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