- Extend Renewable Energy Investment Incentives
- Increase Research in Improving Energy Storage Facilities
- Increase Support for Electric Vehicles, Charging Stations and Rail Cars
- End Waivers for the Enforcement of Industry Emission Standards
- Explore Price Controls for the Household Use of Natural Gas
Turkey joined the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2004 from the “list of developed countries.” The country signed the Paris Climate Pact a year after it was accepted in Oct 2015 by 195 countries, but did not present the deal to the parliament for ratification until Oct 2021. Turkey was one of the six countries, including Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Eritrea, that has not ratified the deal until then. Due to being on the list of developed countries, Turkey cannot obtain funds and this was said to be the main reason to hold back on ratification.
Turkey pledged to the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21% as of 2030 in line with the agreement. This means it will reduce 1.9 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Emissions in in Turkey have been continuously increasing with the energy sector having the biggest share and followed by transportation, industry and domestic utilization. Climate mitigation strategies should be on these sectors and include the following.
Extend Renewable Energy Investment Incentives
The government has been trying to promote the use of alternative energy through incentives to increase investment in wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal power plants. However these incentives will be terminated within the next 10 years which makes newcomers hesitant to invest. The incentives should be revisited and extended to increase the investor appetite.
Increase Research in Improving Energy Storage Facilities
Another major obstacle limiting the utilization of the renewable resources is the interruptive nature of the power that solar and wind power generate. Therefore, research and studies on improving energy storage facilities must be heavily supported in order to be able to increase the use of renewable energy.
Increase Support for Electric Vehicles, Charging Stations, and Rail Cars
Diesel is widely used in Turkey as fuel in transportation. The incentives particularly for the electric cars and recharging stations must be enacted. The first electric car manufacturing plant is under construction but the production cost of the vehicles is far beyond the reach of middle class. Government support is essential to have electric cars be more widely used. Also, almost half of the rail transportation is still using diesel locomotives which must be replaced with electric ones sooner than later.
End Waivers for the Enforcement of Industry Emission Standards Despite the fact that there are very tight standards set for the emission levels in industries such as iron, steel, and coal plants, the government has issued penalty waivers until recently. This practice must be stopped immediately.
Explore Price Controls for the Household Use of Natural Gas Domestic heating has been traditionally using coal as the major source of fuel. The natural gas network has been extended to cover almost the whole country. However due to the immense increase in oil and gas prices, households have shifted back to coal to heat their houses. This is one of the major sources of emissions and the pollution particularly in major city centers.
The Turkish public is becoming more and more aware of the importance of reducing emission levels. Pressure from the public and the NGOs will surely speed up government action.
“The Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Climate” and “The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources” are the two public sector organizations dealing with the control of emissions and have the responsibility of ensuring that Turkey complies with its Paris Agreement pledge.
Prof Dr Mehmet Emin Birpinar, The Ministry of Environment, Urban Planning and Climate
Tel: +90 (312) 410 10 00
Dr Alpaslan Bayraktar, The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources
Tel: 90(312) 212 64 20
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Dr. Semih Ergur