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NEWS Turkey relies on "National Sustainable Energy Action Plan” to fight global climate change

17 Oct 2018

Climate change is considered to be the most important threat for life on the planet. Scientists continue to warn that global climate change is one of the most important threats for life on the planet and call on the industrialized countries on fighting against said threat and the whole humanity to spend efforts to minimize factors causing it.

Countries with high greenhouse gas emissions have committed to obligations such as greenhouse gas emission reduction and limitation at different rates, under the Kyoto Protocol. However, countries such as the USA and Australia with high greenhouse gas emissions have not signed said protocol. The Paris Agreement on the other hand which forms the framework of the 2020 regime in the fight against climate change was adopted in 2015 and aims at a different way of challenging it. The unwillingness of developed countries to take measures to combat climate change which is one of the most important problems that will affect humanity in the future draws much attention. The decision of President Trump to withdraw the USA from the Paris Climate Agreement arguing that it does not suit the economic interests of his country is an example for this.

When we look at the strategy Turkey has adopted regarding the issue of climate change we see that Turkey has been seriously battling climate change and “efforts spent nationwide” is a good enough reason to have hopes for the future. So, what is Turkey doing to stop climate change?

Experts comment that Turkey is among the countries in the world that would be highly affected by global climate change. Aware of this fact, the country has been focusing on the issue for quite a while now and has decided to launch several programs nationwide. The administration pays special attention that not only the public but also public offices are mobilized as far as the implementation of said program is concerned. Turkey has defined energy as the key in global fight against climate change and is  determined to focus on sustainable energy instead of using fossil fuels.

The administration has covered some considerable distance within the scope of "National Sustainable Energy Action Plan” and it is observed that the share of sustainable energy in energy production in Turkey has exceeded the share of fossil fuels. While electricity production from sustainable energy sources was 34 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2002, it increased by 168 percent to 91 billion kWh in 2016.

The government made it compulsory for all buildings to receive a “green building” certificate in 2017, to obtain permission to be erected. The certificate is to ensure that energy and water efficiency are treated as key elements, to comply with concerned program.

On the other hand the administration has also attributed special importance to waste management as this issue is closely linked to the fight against climate change, putting into action a program called "National Waste Management Action Plan". Accordingly, Turkey manages to recycle more than half of the plastic bottles produced in the country. Another point worth mentioning is that Turkey’s government is looking forward to realizing a TL 22 billion investment in recycling facilities with plans to charge retail customers in the market for each plastic bag they use, to reduce their usage and circulation.

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