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Turkey has tremendous potential to scale-up its climate action, and could reduce emissions substantially by 2030 by acting in just three major sectors, according to an analysis released today. Bringing the power sector, residential buildings and passenger ground transport onto a Paris-compatible pathway would see emissions drop by 14% below 2017 levels by 2030, reversing the current upward trend.
The analysis “Scaling Up Climate Action: Turkey” is the fifth in-depth report by the Climate Action Tracker, which has taken a close look at the major emitting sectors in Turkey’s economy. Around 50% of Turkey’s national greenhouse gas emissions come from the electricity supply, passenger road and rail transport, and residential buildings sectors.
Turkey set a weak Paris Agreement target and is already overachieving it. There is clear room for it to increase that pledge.
“Ambitious decarbonisation would significantly reduce emissions and foster co-benefits such as business opportunities for the construction and manufacturing industry, employment generation, reducing pollution and promoting modern housing,” said Hanna Fekete from NewClimate Institute, one of the Climate Action Tracker’s research organisations.
Turkey is aiming to increase its share of renewable energy, as well as domestic coal for electricity generation.
“Given the price for renewables in Turkey’s auction rounds are very low, this brings into question the economic attractiveness of adding more fossil fuels. Under a Paris Agreement-compatible electricity sector, Turkey has the potential to phase out coal by 2030, and focus on renewables, and to fully decarbonise its electricity generation by mid-century,” said Ursula Fuentes from Climate Analytics.
Decarbonising the electricity sector is key to decarbonising both the transport, rail and buildings sectors, the report found. Electrification of the passenger vehicle fleet ensuring 100% zero-fossil vehicle sales by 2035 is required to bring the Turkish passenger transport sector onto a pathway in line with the Paris Agreement.
Other influencing factors, besides electrification, include introducing fuel efficiency standards and a shift towards a higher share of public transport. In the CAT Paris Agreement-compatible scenarios, such actions reduce emissions in this sector by around a third in 2030 from today, and reduce them to zero by 2050.
Turkey is one of the largest automotive manufacturers and exporters, and also aims at producing electric vehicles domestically - an important step in enabling such a transition in Turkey and improving global competitiveness.
For the residential buildings sector, the CAT found a potential for a 40-50% emissions reduction by 2030 - and aiming for zero-emission by mid-century. To achieve this, Turkey needs to strengthen its standards for new buildings - toward near-zero energy, and a deep renovation of existing buildings, including electrification of cooking and improving energy efficiency, also required for lighting and other appliances.