Turkey could reduce emissions substantially by bringing the power sector, residential buildings and passenger ground transport onto a Paris-compatible pathway that would see emissions drop by 14% below 2017 levels by 2030, a new analysis on Turkey showed on Tuesday.
According to Scaling Up Climate Action: Turkey analysis by Climate Action Tracker (CAT) which has taken a close look at the major emitting sectors in Turkey's economy, the country is 30% below where current developments are heading and far below the emission levels resulting from Turkey’s non-ratified Paris Agreement target (INDC) that would result in an increase of emissions of 90% from 2017 levels.
Around 50% of Turkey’s national greenhouse gas emissions come from the supply of electricity, passenger, road and rail transport and the residential buildings sector, the report found.
"Turkey set a weak Paris Agreement target and is already overachieving it. There is clear room for it to increase that pledge," the study showed.
The CAT rates Turkey's targets as “critically insufficient", the report underlined.
"If Turkey were to increase its target to the level resulting from scaled-up climate action in the three target sectors we have identified, the CAT would increase Turkey’s rating by two grades–to 'insufficient'," the report read.
Turkey is the only G20 country that has not ratified the Paris Agreement, yet.
“Ambitious decarbonization would significantly reduce emissions and foster co-benefits such as business opportunities for the construction and manufacturing industry, employment generation, reducing pollution and promoting modern housing,” Hanna Fekete from NewClimate Institute, one of the Climate Action Tracker’s research organizations, was quoted as saying in the report.
Turkey aims to increase its share of renewable energy, as well as domestic coal for electricity generation.
Renewable energy sources met 46% of Turkey's total electricity demand in the January-October period of 2019, Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced previously.
He said that imported coal and lignite plants accounted for 36% of the total electricity production while natural gas plants constituted 17% in the same period.
- Electricity is key sector
“Given that the price for renewables in Turkey’s auction rounds is very low, this brings into question the economic attractiveness of adding more fossil fuels," said Ursula Fuentes, senior climate policy adviser at Climate Analytics of the findings on Turkey.
She noted that under a Paris Agreement-compatible electricity sector, Turkey has the potential to phase out coal by 2030, focus on renewables and to fully decarbonize its electricity generation by the mid-century.
According to the study, decarbonizing the electricity sector is key to decarbonizing both the transport, rail and buildings sectors.
Electrification of the passenger vehicle fleet ensuring 100% zero-fossil vehicle sales by 2035 is required to bring the Turkish passenger transport sector onto a pathway in line with the Paris Agreement, the analysis showed.
Other influencing factors, besides electrification, include introducing fuel efficiency standards and a shift towards a higher share of public transport.
Turkey is one of the largest automotive manufacturers and exporters and also aims at producing electric vehicles domestically which is considered an important step in enabling such a transition in Turkey and improving global competitiveness, the report said
A Paris-compatible residential buildings sector in Turkey requires strengthened standards for new buildings towards near-zero energy and extensive renovation of existing residential buildings.
The report found a potential from 40% to 50% emissions reduction from residential buildings by 2030 is achievable for Turkey.
"To achieve this, Turkey needs to strengthen its standards for new buildings toward near-zero energy and a deep renovation of existing buildings, including electrification of cooking and improving energy efficiency, also required for lighting and other appliances," the study found.
By Nuran Erkul Kaya