Turkey Checkup

Turkey—Falling Behind

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”.

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Turkey Emission Reduction Policy

Government Regulation on Monitoring of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Even though Turkey has been trying to take responsibility for the fight against climate change, there has not yet been any significant policy adopted and implemented by the Government to decrease GHG emissions. The reasons might be the lack of local data and information to start a policy dialogue between the actors.  For this reason, in 2012 the Government issued the Regulation and Monitoring of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The purpose of this Regulation is to set forth the principles and procedures for monitoring and reporting emission levels from businesses and government enterprises. Some of the facilities subject to the Regulation are as follows:

Oil refineries;
Facilities with thermal power equal to or higher than 20 MW (except for hazardous and domestic waste incineration facilities);
Certain steel and iron production facilities;
Clinker facilities with a daily capacity of 500 tons and above or revolving furnaces with a daily capacity of 50 tons and above; and
Facilities producing paper, paperboard or cartons with a daily capacity of 20 tons and above.

Within the scope of this regulation, these types of facilities are subject to monitoring, reporting and verification processes every year. These monitoring and verification activities may stimulate the establishment of a mandatory carbon market in Turkey. Turkey’s Energy Efficiency Strategy Document 2012-2023 includes actions to be taken related to setting up a carbon trading system.

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Turkey Extreme Weather Event

Extreme Rainfall in the Black Sea Region

In June 2016, Ordu, a coastal city in the Black Sea Region of Turkey, faced an extreme weather condition. A heavy rainfall of 300 kg per square meter resulted in a terrible disaster and loss of life. Landslides occurred in 16 regions that caused the destruction of many houses and bridges. Coastal roads were also closed to traffic due to landslides.

While deforestation increased the catastrophic consequences, improper construction techniques played a major role in this specific disaster. An old bridge built in 1940 was not demolished, but the bridge that was built ten years ago together with new retaining walls was demolished.  Several newly built houses were submerged. The main reason for this is that the new buildings and bridges have been constructed on the waterway without a proper soil survey. Also when agriculture was common in the region, the cultivated areas had waterways that resulted in a gradual flow. As agricultural activities decreased, these waterways could not find an offset such as street gutter.

After the incident, the construction permits in the risky areas have been revoked. However the existing buildings have not been evacuated yet which paves the way for similar disasters occurring in the future. The precautions to be taken in the region as well as the improvements made after the catastrophe are insufficient. After almost a year, the demolished bridges and retaining walls have not yet been repaired. It is necessary to take action without losing time in order to prevent similar incidents in the Black Sea Region.

Turkey Media Organizations

Broadcast Media

Sürdürülebilir Yaşam TV – Sustainable Living Collective broadcasts documentaries and movies through its website Surdurulebiliryasam.tv under several topics related to sustainable living. The collective organizes a Sustainable Living Film Festival simultaneously in 20 cities across Turkey in cooperation with local NGOs and activist groups every year.

Content Samples:

The collective is supported by individual volunteers as well as professional organizations. The purpose is to bring people together to work to make a positive change. There are several short film videos that are posted under the topic of sustainable living. One of the latest short films, “Earth is Our Home,” is about climate change; one of the biggest problems that threatens both humanity and our planet.

Learn more: http://surdurulebiliryasam.tv/film/dunya-bizim-evimiz

Contact: info@surdurulebiliryasam.tv
Print Media

EKO IQ is a magazine that has been published since 2010. Its purpose is to become a communication tool in Turkey against unsustainable living of individuals and practices of companies. They try to create a sustainable mindset for all individuals from the business world to NGOs, from scientists to children.
EKOIQ is published by Sürdürülebilirlik Yönetim ve İletişim Hizmetleri Ltd. Şti. (Sustainability Management and Communication Services Company) and it is the first carbon neutral magazine of Turkey.

Content Sample:

News, interviews, and articles can be found on their website under several topics related to sustainability. One of the latest articles discusses the “Fighting Climate Change from the Perspective of Economic Policies” report of TÜSİAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association). It covers an interview with Prof. Dr. Erinç Yeldan who also helped prepare this report. He says the most important conclusion of the report is that the economic effects of reducing carbon emissions can be “invigorating”. However, the crucial issue that needs to be emphasized is: Political will and social stability.

Learn more: http://ekoiq.com/emisyon-azaltimi-ekonomik-canlandirici-bile-olabilir-ama/

Contact: dergi@ekoiq.com

Online Media

Çevreci TV is a group of journalist who have struggled to protect the environment and have no other concern than leaving a clean and livable world to future generations established the site cevrecitv.com
It was created by Sezgin Akkoyun who broadcast one of Turkey’s first environmental programs called, “Çevre ve İnsan”. Their belief is that they will ultimately end up defeating the environmental opponents.

Content Samples:

There are several news articles, interviews, and videos posted on their website that are related to environmental issues. One of the latest post covers “Effects of Climate Change on Water Resources Project”. The application area of the project is 25 river basins covering all of Turkey and the projection period is from 2015 to 2100.

Learn more: http://cevrecitv.com/2017/01/24/goruntulu-haber-iklim-degisikliginin-su-kaynaklarina-etkisi-projesi/

Contact: haber@cevrecitv.com

Turkey Subnational Best Practices


Eskişehir—Eskişehir is one of the 12 new cities that recently joined the Building Efficiency Accelerator program that is now working in 23 communities worldwide. The participating cities will implement recommendations from a World Resource Institute’s Report that focuses on eight categories of policies and actions that can help decision-makers to plan changes in their cities. Eskisehir is currently pursuing multiple district redevelopment projects to improve construction quality and public spaces. The mayor and his team are finding ways to include building efficiency measures within the plan to lower energy use while reducing pollution and waste.

World Resources Institute (WRI) Turkey
Director of WRI Sustainable Cities-Turkey: Arzu Tekir
Email: arzu.tekir@wri.org

Gaziantep—Gaziantep has developed the first municipal climate change action plan in Turkey with the help of the French Development Agency. The plan analyzes Gaziantep’s current energy usage and GHG emissions. It also develops sustainable urban development solutions. Gaziantep Province Directorate of Environmental and Urban Planning published in 2016-2019 A Clean Air Action Plan. Throughout the implementation of this action plan, compliance with EU emission regulations is targeted.
Hasan Alan, Director of Gaziantep Province Environmental and Urban Planning
Email: gaziantep@csb.gov.tr

Kocaeli—Kocaeli is part of the European Council’s Opportunities for Low Carbon Urban Transportation Project. The target is to develop and share information on innovative and environmentally friendly transportation solutions among selected cities and to support the implementation of these solutions. Sustainable Transportation Association—EMBARQ is  a project partner that is helping Kocaeli implement this Project. Throughout the Project, the applicability of solutions such as public transportation, transportation infrastructure, urban logistics, sustainable urban mobility plans/integrated transportation will be discussed.

Tuğçe Üzümoğlu Project Assistant of EMBARQ-Turkey
Email tugce.uzumoglu@wri.org

Learn More

“World Resource Institute Turkey – Sustainable Cities” http://wrisehirler.org/calismalarimiz/proje-sehir/buildinglab-eski%C5%9Fehir

“Gaziantep Clean Air Action plan 2016-2019”

Düşük Karbonlu Kent İçi Ulaşım Çözümlerinin Paylaşılması

Turkey Leaders and Opponents

Government Official
Mehmet Özhaseki
Minister of Environment and Urban Planning

Mehmet Özhaseki attended the COP22 conference and emphasized the importance climate change actions. He stated that the Paris Agreement would be ratified in parliament after a favorable decision on Turkey’s access to financing resources.

Contact: Tel: 0090 (312) 410 10 00   Address: Mustafa Kemal Mahallesi Eskişehir Devlet Yolu (Dumlupınar Bulvarı) 9. km. No: 278 Çankaya / Ankara

Government Official
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Emin Binpınar
Chief Negotiator for Turkey and Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning

Prof Dr. Mehmet Emin Binpınar attended the Paris Conference. He emphasizes the importance of restructuring all government agencies and investments keeping in mind the goal of emission reduction. He also favors investment in renewable energy.

Contact: mehmet.binpinar@csb.gov.tr

Climate Program Advocate
Çevre ve Ekoloji Hareketi Avukatları ÇEHAV (Environmental and Ecology Movement Lawyers)

ÇEHAV consists of lawyers who mainly provide legal support for environmental protection issues. The NGO plays a key role for preventing environmentally destructive investments and projects. Also, the lawyers follow up on public administrators who do not enforce legislation for the protection of the environment and nature.

Contact:  info@cehav.org

Climate Program Advocate
İklim Ağı (Climate Network)

The network is established by several NGOs who have common concerns on climate issues and want to offer solutions. These NGOs are:

Buğday Ekolojik Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği
Doğa Derneği
Doğa Koruma Merkezi
Eurosolar Türkiye
Greenpeace Akdeniz
Kadıköyü Bilim Kültür Ve Sanat Dostları Derneği (Kados)
TEMA Türkiye Erozyonla Mücadele, Ağaçlandırma ve Doğal Varlıkları Koruma Vakfı)
WWF – Türkiye (Doğal Hayatı Koruma Vakfı)
350 Ankara
Yeşil Düşünce Derneği

The main purpose is the provision of civil NGOs participation in the policy making process of climate change in Turkey.

Contact: http://iklimagi.org/

Climate Program Opponent
Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (Turkey)

The Ministry is divided on carbon saving actions: On one hand, renewable energy and energy efficiency investments are supported, while on the other hand, incentives are provided for coal mining and thermal plants. The collaboration of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources with the Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning plays an important role on reaching the goal of carbon reductions in Turkey.

Turkey Leading Research Study

Research Study: “Turkey’s 6th National Climate Change Statement,” prepared for the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization by the TÜBİTAK Marmara Research Center, July 2016

The 6th National Climate Change Statement is a road map to fight against climate change. It is a very comprehensive report that includes the following main topics: national climate change conditions, greenhouse gas inventory, policies and precautions, emission projections, impact, vulnerability and adaptation, finance resources, technology transfer, research  observations, education, training and public awareness. The country’s current situation is examined in detail under these topics.

The 6th Statement also addressed the topics which were not covered in the previous 5 reports in this series. These topics are mainly about renewable energy and incentives to increase the use of renewable energy sources, investments for less carbon emitting public transport systems and improving energy efficiency.

The Statement makes an important observation that Turkey has a way to go to reconcile environmental concerns with economic growth and political will. Turkey has taken important steps to create infrastructure for effective climate change policies. However,  political stability which is a prerequisite for fighting against climate change has not yet been able to go beyond words.

Learn More

See “Türkiye İklim Değişikliği Altıncı Ulusal Bildirimi 2016” https://www.csb.gov.tr/db/destek/editordosya/Turkiye_Iklim_Degisikligi_Altinci_Ulusal_Bildirimi.pdf

Turkey Emissions Reduction Policy

Turkey: National Climate Change Action Plan

The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization produced Turkey’s National Climate Change Action Plan in 2011. The vision of the plan is “ to become a country fully integrating climate change-related objectives into development policies.”  The plan emphasizes “disseminating energy efficiency, increasing the use of clean and renewable energy resources, actively participating in the efforts for tackling climate change within its special circumstances and providing its citizens with a high quality of life and welfare with low-carbon intensity.”

The plan identifies short, medium and long-term goals under eight topics (energy, industry, forestry, agriculture, buildings, transport, waste and climate change adaptation) are established in detail within the framework.

One of the very first actions under the plan has been the Regulation on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Monitoring (Monitoring, Verification and Reporting) which was published in 2012.

This regulation is an important move to fight against climate change. It provides for the monitoring of GHG emissions in electricity and steam production, petroleum refining, and petrochemical, cement, iron and steel, aluminum, brick, tile, lime, paper and glass facilities. By monitoring these emissions very precisely, there will be information and data to create climate change and environmental policy. The very first data has been gathered in 2016. It shows the monitoring results of 2015.

Learn More

Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, National Climate Change Action Plan, 2011
Tüvikder, İklim Değişikliği Eylem Planı Değerlendirme Raporu, 2013

Turkey Energy Production Trends

How the Energy System Is Structured

The government of Turkey aims to privatize public power plants, including hydro and thermal power plants. EÜAŞ, the largest electric power company in Turkey, was founded by the Turkish government in 2001 and has 72 hydroelectric power plants and 10 thermic power plants. Privatization will demolish the public monopoly and cause competition. Some private groups control 30% of distribution and their share in power generation is rapidly increasing. Some want to control distribution, wholesale, retail sale and generation at the same time. Currently, two private groups control more than 50% of the electricity distribution market.

Renewable energy power plants are installed by private companies. According to the target capacities in the 2019 Strategic Document and the 2023 National Renewable Action Plan, an increase in renewable energy installed capacity is expected. However, a review of the status of licensed investment projects and the energy sources of projects seeking licensing implies that these targets are not realistic.

The renewable energy installed capacity will increase in the next five years, which will decrease Turkey’s greenhouse gas emissions. However, higher energy demand and the use of coal resources should not raise high expectations.


Sources of Energy

Among OECD countries, Turkey has the highest growth rate on energy demand, which attracts attention as Turkey is largely dependent on energy imports. For example, Turkey’s oil import dependency ratio is 93.6%, and the rate of dependence on imports of natural gas is 99.2%. The government has several action plans against this level of energy dependency. However, the drop in oil prices in 2015 reduced Turkey’s oil and natural gas import cost and caused a slight increase in the fossil fuel use and dependency on external energy sources.

The percentage of Turkey’s energy use for the past year that is provided by (a) fossil fuels (b) and renewable energy can be seen on the table below.

Turkey Energy production companies/organization types and their energy production percentage during 2015 can be seen on the table below.


Profiles of Leading Energy Companies

Calik Enerji: Çalik Enerji is a Turkish energy company of the Çalık Holding, which was established in 1998. The main areas of operations include:
•       oil and gas exploration, production, transportation, and distribution;
•       power generation, transmission, and distribution;
•       power design and engineering; and
•       telecommunications services.

The company’s website tells us that Çalik Enerji has oil and gas exploration and production activities in Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan (notably in the Ýolöten Gas Field). Along with the Italian company Eni, it is constructing the Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline to transport crude oil from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. It also operates power plants in Turkey and Turkmenistan. In 2015, Mitsubishi Corporation announced a strategic alliance with Çalık Enerji to develop infrastructure projects in Turkey and Northern Africa.

Gama Enerji A.S. GAMA Enerji A.Ş. is a Turkish company founded in 2002 that engages in building, financing, and investing in energy and water utility infrastructure. While the development, construction, and operation of power plants are its main focuses, power generation and trading are also a part of its activities.

The total power generation capacity of the GAMA Enerji is 1,715.80 MW, including two CCGT power plants in Galway, Ireland, and Kirikkale, Turkey. GAMA Enerji also owns Disi Mudawara, the Amman water conveyance project by the Ministry of Water of Jordan. Despite the headquarters location in Ankara, the company is active in energy trading business with its affiliate GATES Enerjiin Istanbul.

General Electric Energy Financial Services (GE EFS) acquired 50% of the shares of GAMA Enerji in 2007 and held its position as a shareholder until 2015. In 2015, International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and a fund managed by IFC acquired 27% of the company’s shares. In late 2015, Malaysia’s state electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional (TNB) bought a 30% stake in GAMA Enerji.

RES Anatolia: RES Anatolia is a leading renewable energy developer, dedicated to the delivery of wind and solar power projects. With a portfolio of over 8,000 MW of renewable energy capacity constructed worldwide, the RES Group has been playing a leading role in the renewable energy industry for almost 30 years.

RES Anatolia is fully owned by RES Mediterranean, the southern European division of the RES Group. It specialises in the design, development, financing, construction, and operation of renewable energy power plants (wind and photovoltaic) across the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East. Working alone or with strategic partners, RES has the capability to bring forward projects that will contribute to the sustainable future of Turkey. With decades of experience in the renewable energy and construction industries, RES has the technical, engineering, and construction expertise needed to develop projects of outstanding quality.

RES Anatolia can deploy the significant capabilities of specialist staff from other parts of the group as required. These include centers of excellence for wind resource assessment, wind turbine procurement, turbine technology assessment, network analysis, and connection design.

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Ozlem Duyan

Turkey Emission Reduction Challenges

Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Rising consumer and industrial demand for energy; (b) Dependence on fossil fuel as an energy source; (c) Political crisis


Current Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

Turkey is responsible for 0.94% of total global GHG emissions. This may not seem much but GHG emissions in the country increased from 170 million of tCO2eq in 1990 to 312 mtCO2 in 2014. This increase makes Turkey one of the top 20 emitters in the world. The country has one of the fastest growing economies, and globally ranks second in natural gas and electricity demand growth after China. Projections show that this demand growth trend will continue to rise.

Turkey imports nearly 99% of the natural gas and 89% of its oil supplies. Therefore, the country is in need of diversification of its energy sources. Currently, primary energy demand is met by natural gas (35%), coal (28.5%), oil (27%), hydro (7%), and other renewables (2.5%).


Emission Reduction Challenges

Leading emission reduction challenges include: (a) rising consumer and/or industrial energy demand; (b) dependence on fossil fuels as energy sources, especially oil and natural gas; and (c) the current political crisis.

Increasing economic growth and dependence on imported energy can be counted as factors that constrain Turkey’s ability to fulfill its Paris Agreement goals. Further complicating emission reduction efforts are current political factors such as the recent military coup attempt, Syrian refugees, and tensions with Russia.

Leaving aside political issues, Turkey has been trying to reduce its dependence on imported energy that is mainly fossil fuels. A National Renewable Energy Action plan has been proposed for the period of 2013-2023, under which Turkey is committed to obtaining 30% of its total installed energy capacity from renewable sources such as hydro, geothermal, wind and solar. By 2023 Turkey plans to generate 10% of its total electricity demand from 2 nuclear power plants. Turkey also plans to increase coal-powered electricity output from 32 billion kilowatt-hours in 2014 to 57 billion Kwh by 2018.

According to current plans, Turkey might achieve its Paris Agreement pledge by boosting its renewable energy production and making improvements in energy efficiency. However, the plans for coal-powered electricity production and nuclear power plant construction leave a question mark on the sincerity of Turkey’s commitment. The reduction of energy dependency by using coal at its source creates a conflict with reduction of GHG.

–Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Özlem Duyan


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