In 2020 first lady Emine Erdoğan said that “Every wrong step we take can be a disaster for future generations”. In 2021, according to Daily Sabah, she claimed the role of individuals as "more important than switching to renewable energy sources to cut dependency on fossil fuels".
In 2019 some Turkish schoolchildren joined the School Strike for Climate, and Turkey's branch of Extinction Rebellion demonstrated for Turkey to ratify the Paris Agreement.
Muslim environmentalists and academics quote the Quran in support of their environmentalism. In Istanbul in 2015, Islamic leaders urged the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to help defeat climate change.
Children's-rights petition and lawsuit[edit | edit source]
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg and 15 other children filed a petition in 2019 protesting lack of action on the climate crisis by Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey saying that, amongst other dangers, more deadly heat waves would affect them and other children in future. The petition challenged the five countries under the Convention on the Rights of the Child: "Comparable emissions to Turkey's rate of emissions would lead to more than 4°C of warming." If the petition is successful, the countries will be asked to respond; however, any suggestions are not legally binding. In 2020, Turkey and 32 other countries were sued at the European Court of Human Rights by a group of Portuguese children. W
Media and arts[edit | edit source]
In the 1990s independent Açık Radyo (Open Radio) broadcast some of the first media coverage of climate change, and its founder Ömer Madra (in Turkish) emphasises "The three Y's in the fight on climate change: Yerel (local) Yatay (horizontal) and Yavaş (slow, no resort to violence)." İklim Haber (Climate News) also covers climate change issues in Turkish and English. Mainstream Turkish media tends to view new coal-fired power stations as increasing employment rather than causing climate change; nearly all media owners have financial interests in fossil fuels. The media covers climate change only during extreme weather events, with insufficient expert opinions or civil-society perspectives. The arts are raising awareness of climate change, and education is supported by the EU. W
Public perception[edit | edit source]
Individual action on climate change is not properly understood (in a survey of primary school teachers many erroneously prioritised using less cosmetics) and neither are government choices on climate change mitigation (in the same survey only a minority correctly prioritised curbing fossil fuel use). Future warming of seawater by Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is wrongly thought by some to be relevant to climate change, and few know that geothermal power in Turkey might emit considerable CO2.
İklim Haber (Climate News) and KONDA Research and Consultancy found in 2018 that over three-quarters of public opinion on climate change thinks that extreme weather has increased. According to the latest report written in Turkish and prepared by another collaboration of İklim Haber and Konda Research in 2020, 51.5% of the public opinion believe that the climate crisis is a bigger threat than the coronavirus crisis. Also, 71.4% of the public opinion acknowledge that current climate crisis is a result of human activities. Some construction companies have been accused of greenwashing, advertising their buildings as environmentally friendly without obtaining any green building certificates.
In a 2019 E3G poll of six Belt and Road Initiative countries (including Turkey), solar was the most popular energy source and coal the least popular. Twenty-four Turkish cities committed to the Paris Agreement targets that year, and the United Nations Development Programme partnered with the Turkish Basketball Federation in 2020 to raise public awareness of the fight against climate change. A 2020 study found that the level of public support for a potential carbon tax does not depend on whether the proceeds are used for mitigation and adaptation.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Citzens data initiative[edit | edit source]
Although a number of issues raised in greenhouse gas inventory reviews have been resolved, dozens more have been outstanding for over three years. Space-based measurements of carbon dioxide are expected to allow public monitoring of the megacity of Istanbul and high emitting power plants in the early-2020s. W
Climate change in Turkey[edit | edit source]
Turkey's annual and maximum temperatures are rising, and 2020 was the third hottest year on record. Turkey will be greatly affected by climate change, and is already experiencing more extreme weather, with droughtsand heatwaves being the main hazards. Current greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey are about 1% of the global total, and energy policy includes heavily subsidizing coal in Turkey. The Environment Ministry co-ordinates adaptation to climate change, and adaptation has been planned for water resources by river basin, and for agriculture. W
Greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey[edit | edit source]
Coal, cars and lorries vent more than a third of Turkey's five hundred million tonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions—mostly carbon dioxide—and are part of the cause of climate change in Turkey. The nation's coal-fired power stations emit the most carbon dioxide, and other significant sources are road vehicles running on petrol or diesel. After coal and oil the third most polluting fuel is fossil gas; which is burnt in Turkey's gas-fired power stations, homes and workplaces. Much methane is belched by livestock; cows alone produce half of the greenhouse gas from agriculture in Turkey.
Economists say that major reasons for Turkey's greenhouse gas emissions are subsidies for coal-fired power stations,: 18 and the lack of a price on carbon pollution.: 1 In January 2023 the National Energy Plan was published: it forecast that 1.7 GW more local coal power would be connected to the grid by 2030.: 15 Even without a carbon price renewable electricity in Turkey is cheaper than electricity generated by coal and gas, so the Chamber of Engineers says that without subsidies coal-fired power stations would be gradually shutdown. The Right to Clean Air Platform argues that there should be a legal limit on fine airborne dust, much of which comes from car and lorry exhaust. Low-emission zones in cities would both reduce local air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions.
Turkey's share of global greenhouse gas emissions is about 1%, which is similar to its share of population. Annual per person emissions since the mid-2010s have varied around six and a half tonnes, which is more than the global average. Although greenhouse gas totals are reported some details, such as the split between cars and lorries, are not published.
Turkey re-absorbs about a tenth of its emissions, mostly through its forests. The government supports reforestation, electric vehicle manufacturing and low-carbon electricity generation; and is aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2053. But it has no plan for coal phase out, and its nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement on limiting climate change is an increase rather than a decrease. Unless Turkey's climate and energy policies are changed exporters of high carbon products, such as cement and electricity, will have to pay carbon tariffs.