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Sound and independent information
on the environment

Turkey

Climate change mitigation (Turkey)

Why should we care about this issue

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Climate change is one of the most crucial problems the world has ever faced. Today, climate change affects our daily life in a number of ways, ranging from the physical and natural environment, agriculture, food security, clean water and health to the economy, technology and human rights. Global climate change may have serious consequences such as decreasing snow cover and sea, and land glaciers, increasing sea level, shifting climate zones, and increasing the frequency and/or intensity of floods, droughts, land erosion, desertification, infectious diseases, and agricultural pests and pathogens. All of these could directly or indirectly affect human life and health, socio-economic sectors, and ecological systems (IPCC, 2001).

 

The state and impacts

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

 

According to IPCC Fourth Assessment Report future climate change could critically undermine efforts for sustainable development throughout the world and especially in the Mediterranean Basin. Turkey is located in the Eastern Mediterranean basin where countries are in the highest risk group.

Climate change had an additional impact on our existing problems of desertification and water scarcity. Turkey has exceptionally rich wetlands and biological diversity which are highly vulnerable to climate change.

Summer temperatures (mean and maximum) over the past five decades have increased in the western provinces, while winter temperatures have shown a decrease mainly along the coast.

Water stress is already apparent in many parts of Turkey, and is exacerbated by sharply rising demand in many sectors, particularly agriculture.  Central Turkey, in particular, is at present facing a catastrophic drought following the hottest summer (2007) in living memory. The capital Ankara is presently experiencing water shortages, and water restrictions have been put in place.

For example, the vast Konya Plain, which covers an area twice the size of Wales and stretches from below Ankara to the Mediterranean, was once known as Turkey’s wheat house After a virtually dry summer and impact of climate change over the past decade, dozens of lakes have dried up, with severe consequences for local communities and wildlife.

Due to the steady population growth and intensive industrialisation, the total GHG emissions of Turkey increased steadily in the period 1990 and 2007. In 2007, the main GHG in Turkey was carbon dioxide (CO2), accounting for 81.7 per cent of total GHG emissions expressed in CO2-eq, followed by methane - 14.6 per cent, and nitrous oxide N2O - 2.6 per cent. The energy sector accounted for 77.4 per cent of the total GHG emissions, followed by waste - 8.5 per cent, agriculture - 7.1 per cent, and industrial processes - 7.0 per cent. The emissions rose by 119,1% between the years 1990 and 2007, from 170.1 to 372.6 million tonnes. Figure 1 shows trends of sectoral GHG emissions for years 1990-2007

Figure 1: Emission/removal trends for years 1990–2007

Figure 1 – Emission/removal trends for years 1990-2007 (Source: Greenhouse gas inventory of Turkey submitted in 2009)

 

The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Following the Decision 26/CP.7 adopted at the 7. Conference of Parties (COP.7) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Marrakesh in 2001 which “recognized the special conditions of Turkey accepted that Turkey remains an Annex I

Party of the UNFCCC, in a position that is different to that of other Annex I countries and Turkey will be removed from the Annex II”, Turkey has become a party to UNFCCC on May 24, 2004. Turkey became a party to the Protocol as of 26 August 2009.

 

Turkey was neither an industrialized country nor was in the group of countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy in 1992 and has negligible Historical Responsibility (i.e. less than 1%). (See Table 1).

 

 

Table 1: Cumulative CO2 Emissions between the Years 1850 and 2002 (Source: World Resources Institute (WRI, CAIT), 2004)

COUNTRIES

Convention

Appendix

Emission %

Cumulative Emission %

Rank

USA

Annex-I

29,3

29,3

1

EU 25

Annex-I

26,5

55,8

2

Russia

Annex-I (EIT)

8,1

63,9

3

China

Non-Annex-I

7,6

71,5

4

Germany (EU 25)

Annex-I

7,3

 

5

England (EU 25)

Annex-I

6,3

 

6

Japan

Annex-I

4,1

75,6

7

France (EU 25)

Annex-I

2,9

 

8

India

Non-Annex-I

2,2

77,8

9

Ukraine

Annex-I

2,2

80,0

10

Canada

Annex-I

2,1

82,1

11

Poland (EU 25)

Annex-I (EIT)

2,1

 

12

Italy (EU 25)

Annex-I

1,6

 

13

South Africa

Non-Annex-I

1,2

83,3

14

Australia

Annex-I

1,1

84,4

15

Mexico

Non-Annex-I

1,0

85,4

16

Spain (EU 25)

Annex-I

0,9

 

20

Brazil

Non-Annex-I

0,8

86,2

22

South Korea

Non-Annex-I

0,8

87

23

Iran

Non-Annex-I

0,6

87,6

24

Indonesia

Non-Annex-I

0,5

88,1

27

Saudi Arabia

Non-Annex-I

0,5

88,6

28

Argentina

Non-Annex-I

0,5

89,1

29

Turkey

Annex-I

0,4

89,5

31

Pakistan

Non-Annex-I

0,2

89,7

48

Other Countries

 

10,3

100

 

Developed Countries

 

76

 

 

Developing Countries

 

24

 

 

 

Compared to Annex-I Parties of the UNFCCC Turkey has; the lowest per capita emission figures , lower cumulative  emission figures (see figure 2 and 3), the lowest per capita primary energy consumption and the lowest Human Development Index rank. Turkey has rapidly growing economy and energy demand. Increasing emission trends, including the per capita emissions due to economic and population growth. Although Turkey does not have any quantitative reduction commitment a number of sectoral policies on mitigation have been launched.

 

Figure 2: Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Gg CO2-eq.)

Figure 2: Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Gg CO2 Equivalent) (Source: UNFCCC Secretariat Inventory Tables, 2007; National Communications of non-Annex-I Countries) )

Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Emissions (1990-2005 Average)

 

 Figure 3: Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Emissions (tonne CO2-eq./person)

Figure 3: Per Capita Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Ton CO2 Equivalent / Person) (Source: World Development Indicators – 2009; UNFCCC Inventory, 2009

 

 

Turkey’s First National Communication provides a set of projections of the future levels of GHG emissions, ‘with measures’ scenario and a ‘without measures’ scenario, based on model calculations including as shown in the Figure. Due to the increased electricity demand as a result of economic and population in the period 2005 – 2020 scenarios showed a strong increase in GHG emissions. Aggregate emissions from the energy sector in the ‘without measures’ scenario are projected to grow from 246 Million Tones CO2-eq in 2005 to 616 Million Tones CO2-eq in 2020. Aggregate emissions for the ‘with measures’ scenario are projected to grow from 246  Million Tones CO2-eq in 2005 to 539 Million Tones CO2-eq in 2020. According to the figures presented in the First National Communication, policies and measures which will be implemented until 2020 will result in 76 Million Tones CO2-eq reductions, meaning a 11% deviation from business-as-usual scenario.

 

Figure 4: Emission Scenarios


Figure 5 –Emission Scenarios

The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

Turkey’s First National Communication to UNFCCC in 2007 presents specially commissioned studies on past and predicted climatic trends. Simulations predict a mean annual temperature increase of 2-3oC for Turkey by 2100.  In the western half of the country, summer temperatures are expected to increase up to 6oC. 

 

Being an important economic and social sector in Turkey, agriculture will require special attention, since the studies display that it is one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change. Agriculture occupies an important role in the rural economy, and adverse effects of climate change on water resources will be reflected in water scarcity and drought, thus increasing the need for irrigation.

 

To investigate the likely consequences of climate change on surface waters, a water budget model for the Gediz and Büyük Menderes Basins along the Aegean coast of Turkey was undertaken .  The results indicate that by 2050, water runoff will reduce by 35-48%, potential evaporation will increase by 15-17%, crop water demand will increase by 19-23% and surface waters will be reduced by about 35%.

 

Higher temperatures, greater evapotranspiration and reduced rainfall will also markedly reduce livestock carrying capacity in Turkey.  Grazing lands are already under enormous pressure with more than 85% of Turkey’s total land area ‘highly vulnerable to desertification’.

 

Turkey is taking various actions to fight against negative effects of climate change. These include; management of drought, reduction of erosion, sustainable use of water resources, conservation of biodiversity and enhancing food security.

 

 

 

 

Further national information

  • Link to national homepages

www.climate.gov.tr

  • Link to national reports

http://unfccc.int/national_reports/annex_i_ghg_inventories/national_inventories_submissions/items/47 71.php

 

http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/turnc1.pdf

 

 

 

 

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 23 Nov 2010

In order to determine the policies to be followed, measures to be taken and activities to be conducted by Turkey in the field of climate change, the Coordination Board on Climate Change (CBCC) was established. Under the Chairmanship of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, this board is composed of high level representatives (Undersecretary and President) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Works and Settlement, Ministry of Transport and Communication, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, Undersecretariat of the State Planning Organization, Undersecretariat of Treasury and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey. Besides, 10 Technical Working Groups exist under this Board.

 

Energy sector is responsible for more than 75% of GHG emissions in Turkey. Turkey has been attempting to minimize energy-related GHG emissions through various policies aimed at; improving energy efficiency and conservation, increasing the share of renewable energy sources, switching to low carbon fuels and implement measures to encourage emission reductions. A number of regulative arrangements are carried out to implement the above mentioned policies.

 

Within the scope of the UNFCCC, Turkey supports to the extent of its available means the global efforts being made for the implementation of the policies and measures that are formulated with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is determined to continue its economic development within the principle of sustainable development. Although Turkey does not have any quantitative reduction commitment, significant efforts in all sectors have been launched.

 

Turkey has defined targets for reducing energy intensity. The Renewable Energy Law was introduced in 2005. Energy Efficiency Law has come into force and we are focusing on energy efficiency. In accordance with the By-Law on Heat Insulation in Buildings which is published in 2006, buildings are insulated to reduce heating and cooling needs.

 

Key initiatives are implemented in the transportation sector, such as enhancement of the quality of fuels consumed in vehicles, the utilization of bio-fuels, the use of vehicles with new engines technologies , the withdrawal of old vehicles, the expansion of metro and light rail network .

 

Turkey is promoting the use of biomass instead of fossil fuels and use of best available agricultural and irrigation techniques to reduce the emissions and conserve natural resources in agriculture.

 

Detection and recovery works for methane arising from landfill and refuse tips are going on. Turkey’s aim is to recover methane arising from landfill and refuse tips for energy or CO2.

 

Turkey is committed to increase sink areas by afforestation and by controlling deforestation. An ambitious afforestation campaign was started with a target of 2.3 million hectares of land in a 5–years period (2008 - 2013). 181.4 Million Tones of CO2 will be sequestered as a result of this campaign.

 

Disclaimer

The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

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