A petition started by 37 Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGO) for Turkey to ratify the Paris Agreement will submitted to the Turkish Parliament, according to a joint statement from the NGOs on Thursday.
Turkey is among the first signatories of the Paris Agreement. However, it is currently one of the six countries in the world, including Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Yemen, and the only G20 country that has not yet ratified the agreement.
According to the statement, 191 out of a total of 197 countries that signed the Paris Agreement also ratified it.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted at COP21 in Paris in December 2015 and entered into force in November 2016. The agreement aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
The parties to the agreement submit their commitments to fight against climate change with nationally determined contributions (NDC). The countries aim to reach a global peak in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
Turkey views its categorization of a ‘developed country’ in the annex to the agreement as inaccurate. This category determines the requirement to meet certain emissions reduction targets without benefiting from the financial support that would be given to countries that are categorized as 'developing countries.’
Turkey, with a 21% reduction target in emissions compared to business as usual level by 2030, is seeking a category change to ‘developing country’ similar to South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, China, Chile, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
The Sustainable Economic and Financial Research Association (SEFIA), Tema Foundation, Ekosfer, Greenpeace Mediterranean, WWF Turkey and Youth For Climate Turkey are among the 37 NGOs that are petitioning the government.
"Today, strategies created for the transition to a low carbon economy are shaping not only industries but also the politics of the countries," Bengisu Ozenc, director of SEFIA, was quoted as saying in the statement.
She noted that 29 countries enacted net-zero emission targets or made these targets a part of their political strategy.
"A total of 98 countries are discussing the creation of their targets. While climate targets are redefining international relations, unfortunately, Turkey is not among these groups. The first step for Turkey to be a part of this global agenda is to ratify the agreement without losing more time," Ozenc said.
Ceren Pinar Gayretli, head of environmental policies and international affairs at TEMA Foundation, said that Turkey could remain out of the countries defining the framework of future politics, trade and economy if it does not ratify the Paris Agreement.
"We want Turkey to ratify the agreement and be among the leading countries in global efforts to fight against climate change," she added.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya