This post was submitted by Turkey Country Manager Barış Can Sever
Turkey lacks a plan for reducing 2030 and 2050 emissions levels. It has signed but not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. Its NDC pledge is 21% below current Business as Usual levels. There is an absence of any climate action plans for reducing emissions by 2030 or 2050, which most of the signatory countries who ratified the Paris Agreement have already defined in their state agendas. Although some plans for the year of 2030 are announced by the state officials, there are still no official documents to back them up.
Despite the fact of expected decrease of GHG emissions in 2020 due to Covid-19 global pandemic, Turkey’s economic recovery is focusing on reviving economic production, which implicates an increase of emissions considering the fact that country’s industry relies on fossil fuels. In 2019, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources made a focus on fossil fuels official state policy by announcing tenders for coal mines producing domestic lignite and in the same year, commenced construction on the long-delayed 1.3 GW Hunutlu thermal power plant. This kind of policy development is placing Turkey even further from desired long term global goals in coping with GHG emissions and it is expected that current fossil fuel production levels will double in the next period.
It is an imperative for Turkey to define and direct state policies towards reducing of GHG emissions. A crucial first step is to ratify the Paris Agreement, which will provide a legal and political base for further climate policy development. Moreover, it will extend possibilities of international cooperation and support from other countries signatories of the agreement.
In 2019, Germany and France proposed a Republic of Turkey financial package with the support of the World Bank and United Nations as an incentive to get Turkey to ratify the Paris Agreement. Although Turkey did not accept the offer the initiative, they suggested a framework on how Turkey could incorporate the Paris Agreement within its legal system.
However, if Turkey continues to implement its economic recovery without any state policy in place, which will direct it towards the greater use of renewable energy, the country’s trend towards increased GHG emissions will continue.
Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (President of the Republic)
Republic of Turkey, President of the Republic of Turkey
Mr. Fatih Dönmez (Minister)
Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin Birpınar (Deputy Minister, chief negotiator to represent Turkey during the international climate change negotiations held within the scope of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization
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