Turkey’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) calls for a 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from a business as usual (BAU) level by 2030 with an implementation period that starts in 2021. However, coal-rich Turkey is straying further and further from the path of climate safety1.
Experts have suggested that Turkey could establish carbon markets to achieve its INDC target. Carbon-pricing measures could reduce its projected emissions by 40%. But it seems this recommendation does not resonate with the current government as they intend to continue with the full utilization of domestic fossil fuel resources (mainly coal with low calorific value) until 2023.
There is one thing that seems certain for Turkey: a fair, balanced, and equitable contribution to global efforts requires much progressive political will and a stronger commitment to international law.
Climate Action Tracker and the Citizens Climate Agreement Campaign rank Turkey as “Inadequate”. I do not completely agree with this ranking as private sector actors, the ministry, and international organizations are supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy markets through several projects. In 2015, among more than 30 recipient countries, Turkey got the lions’ share (almost 20%) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. In addition to EBRD, the government of Turkey has been working closely with other multilateral development banks such as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corporation in order to tap other sources of climate financing including the Clean Technology Fund1. However, the legal authorities should also force carbon emitters to work on decreasing their carbon emissions. With greater political commitment, Turkey could at least improve its ranking as “Inadequate”.