environment, pollution, climate change

Turkey creates a ministry to fight climate change

After the Turkish parliament ratified the Paris Agreement against climate change, Turkey aims to reduce its emissions by 21% by 2030.

The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced the creation of a ministry to fight climate change as part of the package of measures launched by the Turkish government after the ratification of the so-called Paris Agreement, which sets out measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and slow climate warming.

“Turkey is renaming its Ministry of the Environment and Urban Planning, which becomes the Ministry of the Environment, Urban Planning and Climate Change,” Erdoğan explained late on Monday after a meeting with his cabinet of ministers held in the country’s capital, Ankara. In addition to this measure, a presidential office for climate change will be created with the objective of detailing the plans and measures aimed at combating this serious environmental problem.

Erdoğan added that he hopes that all political parties, non-governmental organisations and private sector companies will support what he defined as a “historic project” that seeks a technological and environmentally sustainable transformation of the economy and the productive fabric of the country; in addition, he stressed that the whole world must fight against climate change, and that each country must assume its responsibility taking into account its contribution to the problem.

Turkey’s criticisms of the Paris Agreement

The announcement by the Turkish president came after the Turkish National Assembly (Turkish parliament) ratified the Paris Agreement last week, a ratification postponed for years due to Ankara’s criticism of the Eurasian country’s responsibilities under the treaty.

Turkey was one of the countries that signed the agreement in 2015, which entered into force the following year; however, it was neither ratified nor implemented at that time due to criticism from the Turkish government, which considered it unfair that the treaty included Turkey in the list of developed countries, forcing Turkey to assume considerable responsibilities and costs, similar to those of other countries more economically advanced.

Last week the Turkish parliament ratified the treaty and Turkey became one of the 191 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement, which entered into force after being published on October 7 in the Official Gazette of the Republic. The creation of a ministry to fight against climate change is part of Turkey’s climate strategy, which includes 81 measures and 32 objectives included within 9 major action plans, and which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 21% by 2030.