Climate Change Policy of Turkey - Kaan Demirci



According to reports of the International Panel on Climate Change, less precipitation and the increasing danger of drought are the primary influence of climate change in the Mediterranean Region. As a Mediterranean country, Turkey has one of the most vulnerable locations on Earth. Because of that, her location is determined as a climate change hotspot. For the main dangers, the average temperature has been increasing, and also the amount of precipitation has been regularly decreasing in Turkey. In addition to these problems, the increasing duration of hot winds and sea level, reducing river discharge, crop potential, and mountain glacier are the side effects of climate change that Turkey has been coping with.


The main reasons that climate change has become such effective in Turkey are urbanized population, rapid economic growth, increasing industrial activity, and external dependency in the energy sector. 75% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the country come from fuels used in energy production and various sectors (industry, transportation, construction, agriculture). Also, it has been dramatically increasing for two decades. Just like other countries, Turkey also aims to transform itself as a high-efficient and low-carbon country and pursues to reduce its primary energy intensity by 20% in 2023. Turkey has been working on climate change problems with the encouragement of the European Union for three decades. Especially in the energy sector, Turkey is trying to reduce energy intensity by increasing energy capacity and supporting R&D activities. Also, effort on increasing the share of green energy production and use has been growing.


To become an environmentally-friendly country, Turkey projects to put limitations on the construction sector. Since 2017, the incentive for renewable energy usage in buildings has been heightened. As one of the most significant causations of pollution, the industry sector has been limited by legal arrangements for energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing carbon dioxide equivalent intensity is one of the main projects by developing and strengthening financial and technical infrastructure. For transportation, Turkey purposes of promoting an intermodal transport system by increasing the share of railroads, seaways, and increasing the percentage of highways to provide well-distributed and ecologist transportation plan. Additionally, the popularization of alternative fuels and ecologist vehicle technologies in the transportation sector has been supported and encouraged by the government.


Corresponding with pollution and waste, Turkey aims to reduce the number of biodegradable wastes admitted to landfill sites and establish integrated solid waste disposal and recycling facilities across the country and dispose of 100% of municipal waste in these facilities. In the agriculture sector, Turkey tries to increase the sink capacity by using topsoil and subsoil biomass. Limitations related to emissions are also used in the agriculture sector to decrease GHG emissions and identify potential GHG originating from vegetal and animal farms. In addition to that, afforestation projects have been applying almost all regions in Turkey to raise the amount of carbon sequestered in forests. Turkey also fights with deforestation and its damage for a long time. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is still working on reducing potential forest fires and deforestation.


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