Turkey seeks change in climate change agreement
Turkey’s Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum has urged the U.S. envoy for climate to exclude Turkey from the Annex-I list of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and receive a fair financial support to implement the convention.
The minister expressed Turkey’s demand during a meeting with the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry on July 22 on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of G20 member state environment ministers in Naples, hosted by Italy, the rotating president of the G20, which focused on climate change and sustainable water use and 2015 Paris Agreement objectives.
“In our meeting with Mr. Kerry, we reiterated our request to be removed from the Annex-1 list of the U.N. Climate Change Convention in order to make our fight against climate change more effective and to have access to climate finance, and we expressed that we expect their support for our just struggle,” Kurum tweeted after the meeting on July 22.
In this context, he underlined that the completion of the memorandum of understanding negotiations and the signing of the memorandum before the 26th Conference of the Parties in Glasgow would be a step that will speed up the Paris Agreement process for Turkey, the minister stated.
Citing his messages in the G20 meeting of Napoli, Kurum said he elaborated on the scientific research that Turkey has carried out on the loss of biodiversity. “We conveyed many topics from the increasing protected area size in our country to the ecological corridors we have created with national gardens,” he stated.
Kurum recalled that Turkey will host the 16th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity and will assume its presidency for two years. “We will play a leading role in the steps to be taken towards the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity,” he said.
Turkey was included in Annex I and Annex II lists at the very beginning of the process in 1992 due to its OECD membership. The 7th Conference of Parties (COP) of UNFCCC in 2001 adopted a decision regarding the deletion of Turkey’s name from Annex-II.
Annex-I countries are obliged to transfer environment-friendly technologies to developing countries and to take all necessary steps to encourage, facilitate and finance access to these technologies on top of other responsibilities.
Turkey says it had no historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions in 1992 despite being included in Annex-I, since by that time, the country was in the last row of the Annex I list among 36 countries in terms of greenhouse gas emission with per capita ratio of 3,88 tCO2e (less than 1 percent of the global total), while the average greenhouse gas emission of the Annex I countries was 14,37 tCO2e per capita.
The Paris Agreement, which is part of the UNFCCC, was adopted at the 21st Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris in 2015. Turkey has signed the Paris Climate Agreement but has yet to ratify it, since the deal places it among developed countries, thereby obliging it to provide financial resources to assist developing countries to implement the convention’s objectives.
France and Germany had proposed a financial package to Turkey with the support of the U.N. and the World Bank in 2019 in return for the latter’s ratification of the agreement. However, the package was deemed insufficient by Turkey.