Türkiye’s carbon emission to ‘peak by 2038’

Türkiye’s carbon emission to ‘peak by 2038’

Türkiye’s carbon emission to ‘peak by 2038’

Türkiye has unveiled a revised plan for cutting its carbon emissions at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, saying the emissions will peak by 2038.

“We have updated our nationally determined contribution [NDC],” Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Minister Murat Kurum told the U.N. climate conference, referring to the national plans for reducing greenhouse gases submitted by nearly 200 countries under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Our emissions will peak by 2038 at the latest,” the minister said.

The new NDC calls for Türkiye to reduce its emissions 41 percent by 2030 compared with what those emissions would have been had they continued to grow at a rate of eight percent per year.

The Paris Agreement creates the legal environment that will ensure regulation in policies and laws in line with the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

Within this framework, each country every five years shows efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The agreement targets a reduction in global emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050, while the government also declared another target of net zero emissions by 2053.

Evaluating the new target presented by the ministry, non-governmental and think-tank organizations pointed out that it would increase emissions instead of reducing it.

“Achieving the 2053 net zero target in a planned and less costly way is only possible by targeting a realistic reduction today,” said Tanyeli Sabuncu, WWF-Türkiye’s climate and energy program manager.

This projection makes the country dependent on carbon capture technologies whose commercial and technological capabilities are questionable, or on imported options such as nuclear, which pose serious security, environmental and health risks, said Sevil Turan, Greenpeace’s Mediterranean program director.

“However, the choice to phase out coal by 2030 and produce just transformation policies that will actively increase social resilience to the climate crisis is here and within our reach as a concrete solution,” she added.

“We would have expected the revised plan to target absolute reduction. It seems difficult to reach international climate targets in the medium and long term unless countries have credible absolute reduction targets,” said Sevil Acar, a professor from Boğaziçi University.

The surface of the earth has warmed 1.2 degrees Celsius already, enough to increase the strength and frequency of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, flooding and tropical storms.