Turkey expected to lead fight against climate change at Paris conference

ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA
Published 29.11.2015 15:31
Updated 30.11.2015 09:01
Pictures are displayed on a screen behind the podium of a conference room at the venue for the upcoming World Climate Change Conference (Reuters Photo)
Pictures are displayed on a screen behind the podium of a conference room at the venue for the upcoming World Climate Change Conference (Reuters Photo)

Experts are calling on Turkey to show leadership in the fight against climate change, similar to the country's role in the G20 Summit in Antalya this year.

The UN's COP21, also known as the Paris Climate Change Conference, will begin Monday in the French capital, with around 80 government leaders taking part.

It will end on December 12. Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is also expected to participate.

Before the conference, 155 countries submitted plans to show how they can contribute to addressing climate change.

During the conference, these contributions will be discussed and an action plan for keeping the global temperature increase under 2 degrees Celsius is expected to be prepared.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Cem Iskender Aydın, a project coordinator at Turkish environmental group TEMA, stated that G20 countries are mostly responsible for the existing emissions.

"We think that 'Climate Finance' is a good way to start to help in climate change efforts," Aydın said.

"Additionally, reports and studies show that if the world does not show more of a tendency towards renewable energy resources, the fight against climate change will be very difficult and expensive."

"We have a very limited time to realize this," Aydın added.

Pointing out Turkey's potential for renewable energy resources, Mustafa Özgür Berke, Conservation Supervisor at the World Wide Fund for Nature, said the country sends out very positive signals and this process of transition to renewables should be speeded up.

"The energy sector directly impacts carbon emissions. Turkey should shape its energy sector by decreasing its emissions so that we can benefit from renewables in the long-term," Berke said.

Both Aydın and Berke called for a leadership from Turkey.

Berke said: "We have seen very recently that Turkey has shown very good leadership before and during the G20 Summit."

"A similar approach and leadership in the fight against climate change is also possible. We want our country to be more progressive and [to be a] leader on that topic," Berke emphasized.

Turkey is a party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and has targeted a 21 percent decrease of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

To be able to reach that target, increasing the share of renewable energy resources in the country's total energy mix is regarded as the most significant point.

Turkey plans to increase its share of renewable energy resources in electricity generation capacity up to 30 percent by 2023.

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