Ayşe Sinirlioğlu on Turkey's ratification of the Paris Agreement

October 20, 2021

A short note from our Advisory Board member Ayşe Sinirlioğlu, Ambassador (ret.) on Turkey's ratification of the Paris Agreement.

The urgency of climate change is accelerating. The 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change underlines that it is still possible to reach the 1.5-degree-target only if unprecedented action is taken now. Therefore, COP26 in Glasgow is a critical summit for global climate action. It is encouraging to see that with the 2030 Agenda, Member States recognized the importance of taking urgent action. The international community should use COP26 as a crucial inflection point on our global effort to combat climate change. 

As a party to the UNFCCC, Turkey has actively contributed to global efforts against climate change. 

Turkey signed the Paris Agreement in 2016, and the ratification of the Agreement is now underway. Turkey has committed to concluding the ratification process before COP26. 

Turkey has established a complete set of climate change strategies, including a National Climate Change Strategy and a National Climate Change Action Plan.

More than 52 percent of Turkey’s installed power capacity comes from renewable resources. In terms of renewable installed capacity, Turkey is currently ranking 5th in Europe and 12th in the world. Turkey reached a record high electricity generation of 43 percent from renewables in 2020. Dr. Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director, emphasized that “Turkey has seen significant diversification of its energy mix in the past decade. In particular, bolstered by a supportive policy environment, renewable energy has grown impressively, led by hydropower, solar and wind”.

The ratification of the Paris Agreement can play an important role in capitalizing more on Turkey’s huge renewables potential, especially in solar, wind and geothermal. 

Developed countries have pledged to support developing countries in their efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. They have promised to mobilize at least $100bn in climate finance per year by 2020. Developed countries have a moral responsibility to help developing nations to deal with a crisis that they did not create. Beyond the historical responsibility of developed countries what is at stake is the future of the Paris Agreement and COP26. 

The UN Secretary General has appealed to developed countries to provide 100 billion dollars annually and said that “We are not there yet. This is a matter of equity, fairness, solidarity and enlightened self-interest”.