Turkey will fail to reach its goal of reducing its emissions by 50% by 2030

The chance of Turkey meeting the 50% reduction of the (BAU) business-as-usual emission levels is almost zero based on the latest official announcement of the Government and the ongoing policies.

Turkey’s greenhouse gas emissions stood at around 523.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020, as per the latest available data, which showed a rise of 3.1% from a year earlier. The officials in Turkey projected the greenhouse gas emissions to stand at 1.175 billion tonnes by 2030 under business-as-usual conditions and aim to reduce this to 700 MtCO2e through a different set of measures to reduce emissions. Turkey will aim to bring its greenhouse gas emissions 41% below business-as-usual levels by 2030 (raising the target from 21%, which was earlier committed), as Environment Minister Murat Kurum stated at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh in late 2022. The emissions targeted by the Ministry (700 MtCO2e) are almost double that of climate NGOs’ calculations of what the country can and should do (340 MtCO2e) to contribute to the Paris Agreement, ratified by Turkey in 2021.

In a statement, a group of environmental NGOs, including Europe Beyond Coal, said the latest commitment by Turkey did not portray a reduction from the current trajectory and equaled an increase of more than 30% in emissions over the decade. Considering that Turkey’s annual average emission increase in the last 30 years is 3% pa and the postponement of reduction in coal-fired power plants and the delay in the first Nuclear Power Plant construction, which will supply 10% of Turkey’s total need, the target envisaged in the reduction scenario seems to be rather difficult to be realized. Even if the aggressive target of 41 % reduction is achieved, which is not very likely, Turkey will not be hitting the 50% reduction level.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Dr. Semih Ergur.


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