Despite strong economic growth during the past decade and its membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Turkey is considered a “middle income” country, a point that the country stresses in international discussions concerning climate change and mitigation of emissions.
Referencing historically low GHG emissions, Turkey has declined to make any commitment to reduce GHGs based on any specific reference year. Reducing emissions is viewed as a threat to further economic expansion. Nonetheless Turkey plans to limit future GHG emissions through measures that will not compromise its sustainable development and poverty reduction priorities. It has also stated that it will carry out mitigation activities in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner, in accordance with its national programmes and strategies.
Due to disputes over Turkey’s mitigation obligations in comparison to other OECD member countries, Turkey was deleted from the list of Annex-II countries under the UNFCCC at the Seventh Conference of Parties (COP7) in Marrakesh in 2001. Turkey became a member to the Convention in 2004 and ratified the UNFCCC by law in 2003 after a Decision that invited all member countries to recognise the special circumstances of Turkey relative to other Annex-I countries. Parliament endorsed the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and officially became a party to the Protocol in 2009.
In 2001, the Co-ordination Board on Climate Change (CBCC) was established. The CBCC was restructured in 2004 after Turkey became a party to the UNFCCC and in 2010 its remit was expanded with the participation of new members. In 2013 the CBCC was merged with the Co-ordination Board on Air Emissions, and renamed the Co-ordination Board on Climate Change and Air Management. The Board, composed of relevant ministries and industry representatives, determines the policies, measures and activities to be pursued related to climate change. Turkey has put into effect policies and measures to tackle climate change in the energy, agriculture, forestry, transportation, industry and waste sectors.
The energy sector is the major source of Turkey’s GHG emissions and so the main focus of mitigation and adaptation measures. Hydro-power, wind energy and other renewables have been incentivised since 2005 with the passing of The Act on Renewable Energy. The law obliges energy providers to buy a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources, as well as ensuring that small scale and domestic renewable producers have access to the grid and can sell any surplus electricity.
Increasing the production of geothermal energy is a government priority and as such legislation incentivising and regulating the market was passed in 2007. Turkey is also retrofitting power plants and using low-carbon fuels.
After passing the Act on Renewable Energy, legislative efforts turned towards energy efficiency, and in 2007 the Act on Energy Efficiency was passed with the aim of avoiding 75 million CO2-e tonnes of emissions by 2020. The Act on Energy Efficiency contains a regulation that lays down principles and procedures for standardized energy performance in residential, commercial and service buildings. In accordance with the By-Law on Heat Insulation in Buildings published in 2006, buildings are insulated to reduce heating and cooling needs.
Although Turkey cannot benefit from the market-based flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol, voluntary carbon projects have been developed and implemented. By January 2013, Turkey had 218 registered projects in the voluntary carbon market, leading to annual GHG reductions of 16.2 million tons of CO2-e.
Initiatives being launched in the transportation sector include enhancing the quality of motor vehicle fuels, increasing the use of biofuels and new engine technologies, withdrawing old vehicles from use, expanding metro and light rail networks in big cities in order to encourage mass transportation, the Marmaray Sub-sea Tunnel Project in Istanbul connecting the Asian and European sides of the city (which started operating in 2013 and will reduce GHG emissions by 130,335 tonnes per year, as well as the expansion and improvement of the railway network, including high-speed train lines.
REDD+ and LULUCF
Agriculture occupies an important role in the economy of rural areas, and negative effects of climate change on water resources will be reflected in water scarcity and an increased need for irrigation. Adaptation actions include protection of water resources, expansion of irrigation systems to increase efficiency, and early flood warning systems.
The government is promoting use of biomass instead of fossil fuels and use of best available agricultural and irrigation techniques to reduce emissions and conserve natural resources in agriculture. A desired effect of the Law on Soil Conservation and the Act on Grassland and Pasture Conservation is to contribute to carbon sequestration. In 2008, Turkey adopted the Action Plan on Drought Preparedness and Combating Drought.
Turkey is committed to reforestation and regulates deforestation, striving to improve economic and social conditions of people living in forest villages and provide funds to install renewable energy sources (especially solar systems) to prevent deforestation. An ambitious reforestation campaign ran from 2008 to 2013 with a target of 2.3m ha of land and the goal of sequestering 181.4m tonnes of CO2 over the course of 20 years.
In 2011, The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization published “Turkey’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan”. The document provides an updated risk analysis for the country and identifies challenges to implementation of adaptation strategies. Vulnerability is categorised into six key areas: water resources management; agriculture sector and food security; ecosystem services, biological diversity and forestry; natural disaster risk management; public health; and crosscutting issues. Broad objectives are listed under each category, and the document offers a comprehensive legal and programmatic analysis of how and where the government may intervene within existing legislation and Ministerial projects.
Act No. 5627 on Energy Efficiency ( 2007 )The purpose of this Act is to increase energy efficiency, avoid waste, ease the burden of energy costs on the economy and protect the environment. It aims to do this by increasing and promoting energy efficiency in energy generation, transmission, distribution and consumption phases at industrial establishments, buildings, power generation plants, transmission and distribution networks…read more
Act No. 5346 on Utilization of Renewable Energy Sources for the Purposes of Generating Electrical Energy (Renewable Energy Law) ( 2005 )This Act (also known as the Renewable Energy Law) encourages the use of renewable energy. This law encompasses the procedures and principles of the conservation of renewable energy resource areas, certification of the energy generated from these sources, and use of these sources. The measurable objective is to increase the amount of electricity produced by…read more
Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023 ( 2011 / Mitigation and Adaptation Framework )The Action Plan sets out a road map with short, medium and long-term plans for the fight against climate change encompassing all sectors of the economy. Overall the plan involves providing climate-friendly goals that underpin Turkey's growth. These include: strengthening the existing information structure on low carbon progress, and developing financing models for the transition…read more
Climate Change Strategy 2010-2020 ( 2010 )The Strategy sketches Turkey's vision in addressing multiple aspects of climate change, and serves as a basis for the National Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023. The Strategy puts forth a set of policies to address those in the short-, medium-, and long term for reduction of emissions from the following sectors: energy, industry, transportation, waste, LULUCF.…read more
Emissions More information
|Rank as emitter (including LULUCF):|| |
|Country-reported GHG emissions (incl. LULUCF) (MTCO2):||380.06 (reporting year: 2012 )|
|Country-reported GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF) (MTCO2):||439.87 (reporting year: 2012 )|
Information More information
|GHG inventory:||1990, 2000, 2012|
|Climate risk assessment:||Turkey's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan (2011)|
Economy wide targets - Up to (and including) 2020Source:
Economy-wide targets - Beyond 2020
GHG emisisons reduction of 21% by 2030, compared to business-as-usual scenario.Source:
Targets - Energy demand
Decrease energy intensity by 20% by year 2023Source:
Targets - LULUCF
Increase forest carbon sequestration by 15% (base year 2007) by 2020; reduce deforestation and forest damage by 20% by 2020 from 2007 levelsSource:
Targets - Renewables
Increase share of electricity produced by renewable sources by 30% by 2023Source:
Decrease by 2023 the share of highways in freight transportation from 80.63% of tonne/km in 2009 to below 60%, and in passenger transportation from 89.59% in passenger/km in 2009 to 72%Source:
GHG Mitigation framework More information
Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023 (2011)Source:
Adaptation framework More information
Turkey's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan (2011)Source:
Policies - Carbon pricing
Policies - Promotion of low-carbon energy (inc. renewables)
Promotion of renewable energy productionSource:
Policies - Energy demand
National programme on energy efficiencySource:
Policies - Transport
Promotion of freight transportationSource:
Policies - LULUCF
Increase carbon sequestion through agricultural activitiesSource:
Turkey is a republic based on democracy, secularism, social state, rule of and fundamental rights and freedoms. Legislative power is vested in the Grand National Assembly (GNAT), a unicameral parliament with 550 deputies elected for four-year terms. GNAT’s election system is based on proportional representation determined by the “D’Hondt formula”, a mathematical formula which involves the principle of highest average. A political party must have at least 10% of total votes to win seats in Parliament. Last general election was held in November 2015 (the next one is expected for 2019). The Assembly is responsible for the enactment, amendment and repeal of laws. The laws adopted by the Assembly are promulgated by the President within 15 days or referred back to the Assembly for further consideration.
The right to introduce bills belongs to the deputies and the Council of Ministers. The bills introduced by deputies are described as private members’ bills. Government bills must contain the signatures of the Prime Minister and all cabinet ministers. The Speaker of the Assembly designates the bill to be considered by a designated standing committee with relevant expertise, which issues a formal opinion to the Assembly before it is put to vote.
Once passed by the Assembly, the law is then transferred to the President. Then the law is sent to the Prime Ministry to be published in the Official Gazette according to the will of the President. Once published, the law takes immediate effect unless otherwise provided in the law. With the exception of budget bills the President may veto all or a portion of a bill, sending the legislation back to the Assembly for re-consideration with justification.
If the President does not approve the publication of the bill in part, the Assembly may debate only the articles that are not approved or the bill as a whole. The Assembly may adopt the text with or without amendments after this debate. If the Assembly accepts the law without amendment, the President must approve promulgation in the Official Gazette. If the Assembly accepts the law with amendments, the President has the right to send the law back to the Assembly.
National Activities of Turkey on Climate Change. 2010. Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Available online: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dsi.gov.tr%2Fdocs%2Fiklim-degisikligi%2Fnational_activities_of_turkey_on_climate_change.pdf%3Fsfvrsn%3D2&ei=cVrAUuffF8zfsAS_kYGoDA&usg=AFQjCNGqvceybOtZFZ1T-Ba8gB_l7Wq1qw&sig2=xsR_TU1cYHQ26givEmSKGQ&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cWc. Accessed on 17 November 2014.
Republic of Turkey Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2013. 2012 Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Ankara. Available online: http://iklim.cob.gov.tr/iklim/Files/IDEP/%C4%B0DEP_ENG.pdf. Accessed on 17 December 2014.
Turkey’s 5th National Communication under the UNFCCC. Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation. 2013. Available online: https://unfccc.int/files/national_reports/annex_i_natcom/submitted_natcom/application/pdf/nc5_turkey%5B1%5D.pdf. Accessed on 10 November 2014.
“Turkey approaching the Kyoto Protocol?” Joint Implementation Quarterly. July 2007. Available online: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.traee.org%2Ftraee%2FBasin%2FPanel_1.pdf&ei=CVfAUvbmOOqosAS81oDYDA&usg=AFQjCNHRHfnyt2h9qSRJRmHh4TyW57-YCA&sig2=5GA-WR9cMb_TEeqz0hE5Sg&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cWc. Accessed on 17 November 2014.
Türkmenoglu, Evren. 2012 “Climate change policies in Turkey.” Ministry of Environment and Forestry: Climate Change Department. Available online: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CEYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cgseurope.net%2FUserFiles%2Ffile%2FAnkara%2520workshop_june%25202012%2Fpresentations%2FEvren%2520Turkmenoglu.pdf&ei=CVnAUrT5H-_NsQSovICgDw&usg=AFQjCNENBLkIf9YlBcG4t3SjB_7PP3-Alw&sig2=jTQJ5TEmygH6Bl0kOggu4Q&bvm=bv.58187178,d.cWc. Accessed on 16 November 2014.