Turkey Approves the Paris Climate Agreement

Table of Contents

- What is the Paris Agreement?

- What are the aims of the agreement?

- How will the signatory countries achieve the envisaged targets?

- When did Turkey ratify the Paris Agreement?

- What kind of a change process awaits Turkey?

What is the Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is an international agreement that was signed in 2015 and entered into force in 2016 within the scope of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to prevent the climate crisis. The agreement aims to limit the global average temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, if possible, to keep it below 1.5 degrees. It is thought that limiting the temperature increase in this way will reduce the risks of climate change.

What are the aims of the agreement?

The agreement aims to increase adaptation and climate resilience against the negative effects of climate change, to ensure development with low greenhouse gas emissions, and to prevent food production from harming. The principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and relative capabilities” has been adopted in achieving this basic goal. Accordingly, countries will contribute to global climate action in line with their means. The Paris Agreement is based on the declarations (National Declaration of Contribution) prepared by the countries according to their own conditions. These declarations are submitted every 5 years. In this sense, no specific emission reduction target is imposed on countries with the Paris Agreement.

How will the signatory countries achieve the envisaged targets?

Financial resources are required to achieve the targets envisaged in the Paris Agreement. In the Paris Agreement, countries committed to paying attention to low emissions and climate resilience in the flow of funds to achieve their long-term climate goals, while the European Union (EU) launched an ambitious action plan to finance sustainable growth. In October 2019, the EU, Argentina, China, Chile, India, Canada, Kenya and Morocco established the International Platform on Sustainable Finance to mobilize more private donors for environmentally sustainable investments.

Signatory countries are required to mobilize additional public and private resources to finance a climate-friendly economy and promote sustainable economic growth. Therefore, climate finances should be used to increase investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

When did Turkey ratify the Paris Agreement?

Turkey submitted its Statement of Intended National Contribution to the Convention Secretariat on 30 September 2015. According to this statement, it is foreseen that Turkey's greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 21% in 2030, compared to the increase in the reference scenario. Afterward, Turkey signed the Agreement with 175 countries on April 22, 2016. About 5 years after its signing, the “Law on Approval of the Paris Agreement” was published in the Official Gazette dated 7 October 2021 and numbered 31621 and entered into force.

What kind of a change process awaits Turkey?

The agreement aims to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030 and to zero by 2050. Passing the Paris Agreement in the Parliament will cause Turkey to change its policies in many areas. In particular, it is necessary to set new targets and prepare action plans for emission reduction: Turkey's target is to reduce the increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 21 percent until 2030 and to reach zero emissions by 2053. These targets require reducing the use of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and putting renewable energy to the fore. 72 percent of Turkey's greenhouse gas emissions originate from the industry and energy sector, and an energy transformation will be made in the industry. There will be a transformation not only in the industry and energy sector, but also in transportation, buildings, agriculture, and all sectors that cause emissions.

The agreement is based on the understanding of the developed/developing country classification in the fight against climate change and the understanding that all countries assume responsibility within the framework of the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and relative capabilities”. The classification of developed and developing countries in climate negotiations, that is, Annex 1 and Annex 2 lists in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change determine the financial obligations of countries. Turkey, which is on the list of developed countries, will not be able to benefit from the Green Climate Fund since it is not included in the Annex-2 list of the Agreement. However, within the scope of receiving support from international sources, on September 28, 2021, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved the “Green Economy Financing Facility” project, which will provide Turkey with more than 500 million Euros. The World Bank is also evaluating the granting of 3.1 Billion Euros of funds to Turkey for the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement.


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