Alok Sharma, president-designate of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is visiting Turkey on Thursday to discuss the urgent need for international collaboration and action against the effects of climate change ahead of the UN climate summit in Glasgow this November, a UK Government statement said Wednesday.
Sharma will meet Turkish officials to discuss the priorities for COP26, including the Paris Climate Agreement and the critical goal of limiting a global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, along with Turkey’s perspectives on climate action, the statement said.
"I look forward to speaking with my Turkish counterparts on how the UK can support countries in their efforts to raise climate ambition and the UK’s goals for an inclusive, ambitious COP26," Sharma said.
COP26 will take place between Nov. 1 and 12, 2021 in Glasgow, UK.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change that was adopted in December 2015 and came into force in November 2016. It aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Turkey has objected to the categorization of the country in the Paris agreement, and although it is one of its first signatories, it remains one of the six countries and only G20 country that has yet to ratify the agreement.
Turkey, with its 21% emissions reduction target by 2030, views the categorization assigned to it as unfair and is seeking a category change to "developing country" similar to that of China, one of the biggest emitters, as well as South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Saudi Arabia.
"As COP26 Presidency hosts, the UK must listen to the concerns and issues of all countries," Sharma was quoted as saying.
He also stressed the importance of the UK and Turkey working closely ahead of the summit in November.
Turkey has made significant progress in areas such as clean energy, energy efficiency, zero-waste and afforestation, and during the meetings Sharma will offer UK support for Turkey’s climate action, including its ongoing energy transition plans, the statement said.
"The UK funded Climate Finance Accelerator, launched in Turkey last week, is an example of the two countries collaborating to boost investments in the green economy. The program will support Turkey to develop a pipeline of low-carbon projects which will build the capacity of project developers to access green finance funding," the statement read.
"I am very happy to be here to meet the Turkish government, businesses and civil society to discuss accelerating climate action ahead of COP26. Turkey is already taking action against the devastating effects of climate change, not least in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"But we are at a crucial point in the global fight against climate change, and COP26 is a vital opportunity to bring the international community together to accelerate ambition in this fight,” he said.
He reiterated the need for all countries to step up ambition over the next decade and strive for net zero by the mid-century.
The statement said that during the visit, Sharma would also meet with business leaders from across Turkey at an event hosted by the Turkish Industry and Business Association, (TUSIAD)
The meeting's agenda will cover the importance of the transition to a green economy and joining the Race to Zero, an UN-backed global campaign that rallies non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial and educational institutions – to take action to halve global emissions by 2030.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya