24 Turkish cities oppose Erdogan, support Paris Climate Agreement

By signing the agreement, Turkish regional representatives have pledged to significantly reduce their emissions and adapt the sectors of transport, building renovation, energy supply and agriculture to meet the 1. 5-degree target. [Foto: Ege Tok]

Within the framework of the current COP25, 24 Turkish cities and municipalities committed themselves to the Paris Climate Agreement on Monday (9 December). Turkey is the only G20 country that has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Among the signatories to the declaration are three of the five largest cities in the country, including the capital Ankara, major cities of Izmir and Bursa, as well as numerous individual districts in Istanbul, which cover a major part of the country.

This is the first time that Turkish regional representatives have spoken out in favour of the international climate pact. By signing the agreement, they have pledged to significantly reduce their emissions and adapt the sectors of transport, building renovation, energy supply and agriculture to meet the 1. 5-degree target.

To date, Turkey is the only G20 country that has not ratified the Paris Climate Agreement. Besides, the country has not submitted a national climate plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Turkey’s national plan is only valid until 2023.

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At the G20 summit in Hamburg two years ago, Turkey supported the Paris Agreement. However, barely two hours after signing the final declaration, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew from it.

The French president at the time, François Hollande, had promised him that Turkey would not be classified as an industrialised country in the implementation of the agreement.

“As long as the promises we have been given are not kept, we will not ratify them in our parliament either,” Erdoğan said. But this has not yet happened.

According to the “Brown to Green” report, an analysis of the climate balance of the G20 states, Turkey, like most countries, is far from being on the necessary track to reach the climate agreement. The country still draws 38% of its energy from coal-fired power generation.

In May this year, the energy ministry announced that it would award around 500 coal mines to investors in public tenders. No national progress can be seen when it comes to transport either, as emissions per capita rose by 38% between 2013 and 2018.

According to a survey conducted this year by the media platform Iklim Haber together with the consulting firm Konda Research, which surveyed 2,700 Turkish citizens, public opinion in Turkey is somewhat ambivalent.

According to the survey, 71% of the people surveyed attribute the change in weather conditions to climate change, while 38% have no concerns or opinions about climate change.

And only 55% of those surveyed believe the Turkish government should become more involved in climate protection.

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[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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