Turkey and climate change

From Global Energy Monitor


Coal is a major greenhouse gas emitter.

Effects and adaptation

According to some Turkish scientists global warming may already be causing more flooding[1] and extreme weather in Turkey,[2] but as yet the country has no climate change adaptation strategy.[3] Limiting global warming would benefit the economy[4] and the balance of trade, by limiting water stress and its effect on agriculture and food production.[5]

Paris climate change agreement

Turkey has signed, meaning that it is now obliged to refrain from acts that would defeat the treaty's object and purpose.[6] However it is the only Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country which has not yet ratified the agreement and is therefore not legally bound by the terms of the treaty. One reason for not ratifying may be the proposed withdrawal of the USA from the treaty.[7] At the 2017 (COP23) meeting to discuss the agreement Turkey requested financial support from the Green Climate Fund but that climate finance was not agreed.[8] This may be another reason why Turkey has not ratified the agreement.[9] However between 2013 and 2016 Turkey received about 1 billion dollars a year in climate finance, mainly from the EU, and has been assured of continued climate finance.[10] The treaty implies that OECD countries need to phase out coal use in power plants by 2030:[6] but if Turkey were to meet the target it set itself in 2015 in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) its CO2 emissions would still more than double by 2030 compared to 2013,[11] mainly due to use of coal for electricity generation.[12] This would amount to more than 2% of the maximum global emissions (required for the 2 degree temperature rise target) in 2030, and 4% in 2050 if the coal-fired power stations were used for 40-50 years.[13]

Comparison with other countries

Emissions are projected to increase[14] and Climate Action Tracker rates Turkey as "critically insufficient" stating that if most other countries followed Turkey’s approach, global warming would exceed 3–4°C.

Islamic Declaration on Climate Change

In Istanbul in 2015 Islamic leaders called on the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to play an active role in combatting climate change.[15]


  1. "Istanbul flood result of Turkey's climate change," Daily Sabah, 20 July 2018.
  2. "Extreme weather threatens Turkey amid climate change fears," Daily Sabah, 17 May 2018.
  3. Turkey 2018 Report p92, European Commission, 17 April 2018
  4. "Hitting toughest climate target will save world $30tn in damages, analysis shows," Guardian, 23 May 2018
  5. "Climate change and agriculture: an integrated approach to evaluate economy-wide effects for Turkey," Climate and Development Volume 10, 2018 - Issue 3
  6. 6.0 6.1 Implications of the Paris Agreement for Coal Use in the Power Sector, ClimateAnalytics, November 2016.
  7. "Coal & Climate Change - 2017," Önder Algedik, Aug 2017
  8. COP23 - Day 12: Germany positive on results from Bonn," Clean Energy Wire, November 2017.
  9. Michael Schneider, "A Tangled Case – Turkey’s Status under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement," Initiative on Climate Change policy and Governance, July 2017.
  10. Carbon Brief Profile: Turkey, Carbon Brief, 3 May 2018
  12. Şahin (2016), p. 17
  13. Şahin (2016), p. 29
  14. "The Emissions Gap Report 2017 page 9" United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  15. "Islamic Declaration on Climate Change" UNFCCC, 18 August 2015


External articles