Low carbon development pathways and priorities for Turkey
Sabancı University İstanbul Policy Center
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Scientists and decision makers agree that climate change is the biggest problem ever faced by humankind. Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including 195 contracting states and the European Union, will meet in Paris in December 2015 and negotiate the new climate agreement that is expected to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2020. Prior to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris, the United Nations called on each state to specify its future contributions to the efforts to keep the global average temperature rise below 2°C and to safeguard ecosystems and communities from the devastating impacts of climate change. Countries are expected to determine their contributions on the basis of their historical responsibilities in the GHG emissions growth and their current capacities. This analysis brings up three critical questions that Turkey should seek answers to, as it attempts to determine its national contribution to climate change mitigation: -What could Turkey’s responsibility and its emission reduction target be within the scope of the 2°C target? -What kind of a policy package could be implemented in order to achieve the required emission reduction? - What could be the impact of these policies on macroeconomic indicators? What are the costs of implementing and not implementing these policies? In order to avoid the devastating impacts of climate change, global carbon emissions should not exceed 2,900 GtCO2. This is referred to as the carbon budget. 65% of this budget (that is, 1,900 GtCO2) had been used up as of 2011. Should the current upward trend in emissions continue, the remaining 1,000 GtCO2 will have been emitted before 2050. To stay within the 2°C target, global carbon neutrality will need to be achieved sometime between 2055 and 2070, and total global greenhouse gas emissions need to shrink to net zero some time between 2080 and 2100. This study identified Turkey’s share in the remaining carbon budget based on “minimum historical responsibility” and “maximum development needs”. In this respect, in order to fulfil its responsibility within the scope of the 2°C target, Turkey should reduce its cumulative carbon emissions by 2,980 MtCO2 until 2030 relative to the reference scenario.