Ranked 42nd in this year’s CCPI, Turkey again slightly improves its ranking over the previous year, and is now among the low-performing countries.
With low ratings in the GHG Emissions and Energy Use categories, and a very low rating given by climate experts for its climate policy performance, Turkey’s deficits are similar to those in the previous year. On the positive side, this consistency also applies to Turkey’s high-rated performance in the Renewable Energy category, driven by a very positive trend.
Experts, however, note the trend is largely driven by large hydro plants, which have serious environmental implications and face strong public opposition. Experts also express concern about the latest Electricity Market Law amendment, passed in November 2020. This defines waste as biomass and thus incentivises the use of polluting materials, such as car tyres and garbage, as sustainable fuels. Overall, the high rating for Renewable Energy also should be put into context with the fact that Turkey’s current levels and 2030 target are not in line with a well-below-2°C pathway. Additionally, experts note the Turkish government is strongly pushing coal generation while limiting support of renewable energy. This can also be observed in the country’s response to the COVID-19-induced economic crisis; the coal mining sector is among the first industries to receive governmental financial assistance and there is an overall lack of climate consideration in the recovery packages. More generally, experts point to the draft climate law (expected to include an emissions trading scheme) and to the preparation of a long-term strategy as important recent developments in Turkey’s climate policy. The outcomes of these, however, still need to be seen to assess those policies’ strengths. Regarding the low rating in the national climate policy indicator and the very low rating in the international climate policy indicator, experts urgently call for Turkey to finally ratify the Paris Agreement and to considerably revise its INDC (which currently gives a major emissions increase), and to develop a viable transition strategy with a definite coal phase-out commitment.
The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: Önder Algedik (Climate change, Energy and Environment Association), Özlem Katisöz (CAN Europe).