The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change that differs from the Kyoto Protocol. While the latter was only focused on the role of developed countries toward their emissions reduction plans and targets, the Paris Agreement required all developed and developing countries to tackle climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement was adopted by 196 parties in 2015 and officially entered into force in 2016. The agreement aims to reduce global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius (and preferably 1.5 degrees).
Although Turkey signed the Paris Agreement in 2016, it held back from ratifying it for five years. It finally did so on Oct. 6, 2021, when 353 members of the Turkish parliament voted unanimously in favour, making it the last G20 country to ratify the agreement, just a few weeks before the beginning of the 2021 U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26). Turkey has also set a net-zero carbon target by 2053.
Although many entities and parties welcomed Turkey’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, Turkey must ramp up its adaptation efforts and implement green energy and industrial policies to reduce its emissions further. In addition, Turkey must realize its responsibilities as a G20 country, including providing more significant support to developing countries on their green energy transition, especially the private sector, through cooperation and development projects. It must also reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and increase its investment in clean energy sources.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty established in 1992 to address climate change issues cooperatively. The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. Turkey ratified the UNFCCC in May 2004. To achieve its objective and implement its provisions, the UNFCCC lays out several guiding principles and commitments such as all the Parties should develop, periodically update, publish, and make available to the COP their national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHGs not controlled by the Montreal Protocol. The national inventory of Turkey is prepared and submitted annually to the UNFCCC by April 15 of each year, in accordance with UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines. Turkey reports annually on greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, and the most recent report contains national GHG emission/removal estimates for 1990-2021, with a one-year lag. Such reports aim to ensure the transparency, accuracy, consistency, comparability, and completeness of inventories and support the independent review process. The report is accessible to the public.
The annual GHG inventory provides information on the trends in national GHG emissions and removals since 1990. This information is essential for the planning and monitoring of climate policies. Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) is responsible for compiling the National GHG Inventory. The GHG inventory of Turkey is prepared by a “GHG Emissions Inventory Working Group,” which is set up by the decision of the Coordination Board on Climate Change (CBCC). TurkStat is the responsible organization for the coordination of the working group (WG).
The main institutions involved in GHG inventory are;
Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat),
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR),
Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MoTI),
Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change (MoEUCC),
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MoAF).
The GHG Inventory includes direct GHGs such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), fluorinated gases (F-gases); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and indirect GHGs as nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3) emissions originated from energy, industrial processes and product use (IPPU), agriculture and waste. The emissions and removals from land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) are also included in the inventory.
Highlights of the most recent report (1990-2021)
The most recent report shows that total greenhouse gas emissions were 564.4 Mt CO2 equivalent in 2021. The greenhouse gas inventory results revealed that overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as CO2 equivalent (eq.) for the year 2021 compared to the previous year increased by 7.7% to 564.4 million tonnes (Mt). Total GHG emissions per capita were calculated at 4 tonnes CO2 eq. for 1990, 6.3 tonnes CO2 eq. for 2020, and 6.7 tonnes CO2 eq. for 2021.
The energy sector emissions were calculated at 402.5 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, which increased by 188.4% compared to 1990 and by 9.8% compared to the previous year. Similarly, emissions from the industrial processes and product use sector were calculated at 75.1 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, which increased by 228.7% compared to 1990 and 10.6% compared to the previous year.
Agriculture sector emissions were calculated at 72.1 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, which increased by 56.5% compared to 1990 but decreased by 1.5% compared to the previous year. Waste sector emissions were calculated at 14.7 Mt CO2 eq. in 2021, which increased by 32.6% compared to 1990 but decreased by 9.9% compared to the previous year.
Greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 1990-2021
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Dr Semih Ergur.