22. September 2021
After US President Donald Trump`s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on 21 June 2017, the daily HaberTürk reported that Turkey had set a share of the Green Climate Fund as a precondition for ratifying the agreement and approving the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM). Niklas Höhne, a climate scientist and founder of the New Climate Institute in Germany, said Turkey was „outside“ the list of countries that have yet to ratify the agreement. Turkey is at a crossroads when it comes to its energy future: current government plans plan to reduce its dependence on gas imports by increasing renewable energy capacity, but also by using national lignite, currently with 32 GW in the pipeline. Turkey`s emissions will increase significantly in the context of the current policy, but it is expected to still exceed the Paris Agreement (INDC) target, which is „critically insufficient“ but not yet ratified. This INDC is so low that it can double greenhouse gas emissions from current levels, even if the effects of COVID-19 are taken into account. Seven other states have signed the Paris Agreement, but have not ratified it. One of the key issues of this forum concerns Turkey`s place in global climate policy and governance. In this article, I will try to answer the question of whether or not Turkey`s „special circumstances“ will remain valid in the new climate change regime, now that the Paris Agreement is in force. The answer to this question is both yes and no. Yes, because from a legal point of view, Turkey`s „special circumstances“ have been recognized by a decision of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and Turkey will continue to benefit from it in the years to come.
However, the real effects of this particular status are politically uncertain, if not nil, given the new provisions of the Paris Agreement. A closer look at the new type of cooperation in the field of climate change, enshrined in this agreement, will help explain why Turkey`s „special“ circumstances may not prove politically applicable. Since then, Turkey has argued that it is a developing country and that it has gained special circumstances that allow it to choose to provide funds. But it is still not possible to access climate money, a condition that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said must change if Turkey is to ratify the agreement. The Paris Agreement, a joint agreement with the largest participation, aims to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100. The United States, which is still on the list of 187 people ratified by the UN, began the procedure to withdraw from the agreement in 2019 and will withdraw on November 4. President Donald Trump doubts that greenhouse gas emissions are likely to cause dangerous amounts of global warming. Out of 197 countries around the world, 10 countries, namely Turkey, Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan and Yemen, have not ratified the Paris Agreement. .