Turkey’s new climate target does not take the country’s 2053 net-zero goal seriously
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Turkey’s new climate target does not take the country’s 2053 net-zero goal seriously

  • Turkey announced at COP27 an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), setting 2038 as an emission peak year
  • The new scenario presented as a success translates into increasing today’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% until 2030, by not planning to reduce emissions in absollute terms – aka from today

Sharm-el-Sheikh, 15 November 2022 – Today at the UN Climate Summit in Egypt, Turkish Minister of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change, Murat Kurum, announced an update of Turkey’s climate target by 2030, a new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that despite the improvement, unfortunately is not in line with the country’s climate neutrality goal by 2053 announced last year.

CAN Europe considers that the greenhouse gas emission reduction target announced by the Turkish Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change is insufficient and partly inaccurate. The new climate goal envisages increasing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions until 2038 instead of reducing them, as the goal is not calculated in absolute terms, therefore delaying Turkey’s energy transition and the 2053 net zero emissions target announced by the President in 2021. Furthermore, much higher ambition is needed to step for the mitigation work programme which governments are expected to adopt at COP27.

This scenario translates into increasing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30% from today until 2030. However, according to calculations by climate civil society organisations and think tanks, Turkey’s emissions could be reduced to 35 % in absolute terms by 2030 compared to 2020 levels thus achieving the 2053 net zero target in a planned and less costly way.

Turkey’s most recent emissions data is 523.9 MtCO2e (million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent) from 2020. The Turkish Ministry forecasts an increase to 1,175 MtCO2e in 2030, and after its announcement today aims to reduce this to 700 MtCO2e through different set of measures to reduce emissions. The emissions targeted by the Ministry (700 MtCO2e) almost double climate NGOs calculations of what the country can and should do (340 MtCO2e) to contribute to the Paris Agreement, which was ratified by Turkey in 2021.

“We need to aim to reduce emissions in absolute terms, meaning ‘from today’. The reduction target should be calculated based on the latest and most up-to-date data. According to Turkey’s calculation, the country’s emissions by 2030 will increase. This target is inconsistent with the decision taken at the last COP ‘to set stronger 2030 targets,’ said Cansu Ilhan, Turkey Policy Expert at CAN Europe.

Sevil Turan, Program Director at Greenpeace Mediterranean said, “This mitigation target leaves the steps needed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2053 too late, making the success of the mitigation strategy heavily dependent on technologies with highly questionable commercial and technological viability, such as carbon capture or imported options such as nuclear, which carry serious safety, environmental and health risks. Yet we know that the solution is here, today, and within reach.”

Duygu Kutluay, Campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal Turkey said, “Turkey’s fossil fuel dependency is costing us high bills, worsening air, water and soil pollution, as well as increasing health problems. Turkey needs to take steps for the climate as soon as possible to get out of these intertwined crises. ‘Reduction from increase’ shows that instead of solving these problems, we will continue to waste precious public resources in this way for a long time.

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