Turkey: (1) Strengthen country’s Paris Agreement pledge; (2) Strengthen standards for energy efficiency in the construction of new buildings
According to Climate Action Tracker, Turkey submitted its Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) on 30 September 2015, with a greenhouse gas reduction target (including land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)) of up to 21% below business as usual (BAU) in 2030. As of 9 May 2017, Turkey has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. Excluding LULUCF emissions, the target in the INDC is equivalent to a 348% increase from 1990 levels, or a 97% increase from 2012 levels. This pledge is judged to be “inadequate”. Turkey’s commitment is not compatible with interpretations of a “fair” approach in line with holding warming below 2°C, let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. This means that if most other countries followed Turkey’s approach, global warming would exceed 3–4°C
Turkey’s ongoing investment in expanding coal power production stands in strong contrast to the need to fully decarbonise the power sector by 2050. In addition to operating 67 units of coal-fired power plants (emitting 72 MtCO2 yearly), six units are under construction, and more than 73 units are planned. If all of these units were built, the total emissions from coal would increase annual Turkish emissions by at least 40%.
Turkey has significant potential to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by changing its reliance on fossil fuels. To achieve such reductions, Turkey needs a stronger commitment from its business sector. For example, Turkey has an active construction sector. While there is non-stop new construction going on, old buildings are being reconstructed as earthquake resistant. However, when these investments are made, their energy consumption and mitigation measures are not considered. A new program can be initiated to train construction companies on energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, a new policy can be issued to support energy efficient and renewable energy producing buildings (e.g. tax reduction, grid connected solar panels). Such opportunities are available for other sectors as well.