Ankara may suspend Paris deal if Turkey's status not changed


Environment and Urbanization Minister Mehmet Özhaseki has stressed that the Paris climate accord will not be brought to Parliament unless Turkey's status in the agreement is changed.

"We have not brought the deal to Parliament as Turkey is placed in the status of a developed country, which means that Turkey will not be financed by the Green Climate Fund and cannot benefit from its technology but is required to provide funds," Özhaseki said Sunday in Ankara.

One of the aims of the Paris climate agreement is to raise money to help developing countries invest in green energy. The Green Climate Fund is a mechanism set in order to raise funds for this objective.

The minister said when he attends the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Germany's Bonn, he will discuss the issue with his counterparts and convey Turkey's stance on the issue. Özhaseki underlined that Ankara has clearly announced that if Turkey is not considered a country to receive funding, the deal will not be brought to Parliament to be ratified.

Turkey signed the U.N. Paris climate deal in 2016 as a developing country with an aim of contributing to the efforts to manage the threats posed by climate change and take joint actions. Turkey was among the 171 states to sign the agreement in New York.

Prior to the signing of the deal, the states had pledged to decrease their greenhouse gas emission levels at the COP21 conference in the French capital in December 2015. In line with that, Turkey has promised to reduce its emissions by 21 percent over the next 14 years.

As part of its fight against climate change Turkey has accelerated its efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions. The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning announced in August that Turkey has curbed greenhouse emissions by almost 87 million tons over the last four years. The ministry added that by 2030 the figure will reach 1.92 billion tons, with plans to reduce 246 million tons of emission in 2030 alone.

Even though Turkey signed the Paris climate deal as it is committed to efforts of minimizing the adverse effects of climate change, Ankara has been thinking of not ratifying the deal. The decision to put Turkey in the status of a "developed country" and impose sanctions in this regard has been met with disgruntlement in Ankara.

Commenting on the issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in July said, "We signed the agreement, but during the negotiations process the former French president promised to define Turkey's status among the developing countries and then Turkey was supposed to be exempt from financial sanctions mentioned in the deal."

President Erdoğan also stressed that if the promise is not kept the deal would not pass in Parliament.

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