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Fossil award to Turkey for pretending to be a climate hero when the new target is actually a 30% increase by 2030 compared to actual 2020 emissions

Turkey wins the Fossil award for appearing to increase action but really increasing emissions in its revised target. 

Bloomberg reports on this: Turkey’s Climate Plan Points to 32% Rise in Emissions by 2030.

“The country avoided a commitment to halt new coal, and it was silent on the issue of phasing out existing plants in its new climate targets submission. “

“Under its BAU scenario, Turkey would emit 1.18 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030, more than double the 524 million tons it emitted in 2020. The newly proposed cut in emissions still means Turkey’s carbon footprint will increase by 32% at the end of the decade, with emissions peaking in 2038 at the latest, according to the plan.”

Read the press release:

So, how do you take good news and turn it into a fossil of the day? Turkey managed to accomplish this today when their Minister for the Environment, Urbanization, and Climate change, Murat Kurum, announced their updated Statement of Contribution. The updated 2030 target has been increased from 21% to 41%, sounds good right? But Turkey has actually outperformed their business as usual (BAU) scenario(also good!), which their targets are based on, meaning that their new target is actually a 30% increase by 2030 compared to actual 2020 emissions. 

This isn’t the first time countries have played with baselines or other creative number games to allow themselves to keep fueling climate change while looking good on paper. We’ve pretty much seen it all and won’t be fooled by this latest attempt to put lipstick on a pig.

When Turkey ratified the Paris Agreement in 2021, President Erdoğan also announced a net-zero target date for Turkey of 2053. Unfortunately, the new targets aren’t in line with a pathway to reach this. However, according to calculations by climate civil society organisations and think tanks, Turkey’s emissions could be reduced to 35% in absolute terms by 2030 compared to 2020 levels thus achieving the 2053 net zero target in a planned and less costly way.

During his announcement, Minister Kurum said that Turkey wants to be a leader in climate and environmental policies. Being honest about your numbers would certainly be a first step towards that goal. There is a pathway towards true climate leadership. Turkey needs to decide if it will embrace it, and in doing so also tackle the high bills, worsening air, water and soil pollution, and increasing health problems caused by a dependence on fossil fuels, or if it will be happy playing with numbers.

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CAN Europe bring you the award ceremony:

More detail…

Read the twitter thread of researcher Öykü Şenlen

Reference:

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