Ny undersøgelse: Tyrkiets klimaudledninger på himmelflugt

Foto: Hakan Sarıtaş - Creative Commons
Thomas Jazrawi

Istanbul, April 15 2016: Istanbul Policy Center at Sabancı University has published the paper entitled “Coal Report: Turkey’s Coal Policies Related to Climate Change, Economy and Health.”

The report analyzes the current dynamics of coal as an energy and greenhouse gas source in Turkey, according to a press release send out Friday. 

The effects of the current Turkish coal policy and its impacts on health, climate change, and economy have been thoroughly reviewed.

One of the fastest growing emitters

One of the top 20 emitters globally, Turkey’s greenhouse gases have increased 110% between 1990 and 2013.

During this time period, the share of coal as a greenhouse gas resource has also increased, with coal contributing approximately 33% of total emissions and increasing 130% during this time period.

“With one of the fastest growing CO2 emissions globally, Turkey’s per capita emissions almost reached the world average,” says Ümit Şahin, editor of the report and Senior Scholar at Istanbul Policy Center.

“Current dynamics in Turkish coal policies suggest that this fast growth will continue if Turkey does not dramatically change its direction away from coal and act in line with the Paris Pledge.”

The report indicates that Turkey’s energy strategy targets utilize existing domestic lignite and hard coal potential for energy generation purposes in addition to importing coal for energy supply.

Planning more than 70 new coal plants

In line with this strategy, Turkey is planning to construct more than 70 new coal –fired power plants, making the country fourth in the world after China, India and Russia in terms of highest number of coal-fired power plants.

If the current 66.5 GW coal installation plans will be realized, these planned power plants would emit nearly 400 million tons of greenhouse gases.

Therefore, the emissions of these new plants will be almost as high as Turkey’s current total annual emissions, which measured 459 million tons in 2013.

“Following the Paris Agreement, many countries around the world pledged to abandon coal powered energy production. We have also recently seen that developing countries such as China and India are also changing their policies towards more sustainable energy systems,” says Şahin.

“Turkey’s current coal direction is jeopardizing these global efforts.”

Energy policies result in air pollution

Coal Report: Turkey’s Coal Policies Related to Climate Change, Economy and Health also indicates that Turkey’s energy policies result in air pollution and create irreversible health impacts.

Currently air quality is below WHO standards in 80 of 81 providences in Turkey. Moreover, coal-fired power plants also place a burden on the Turkish health economy and public budget in addition to providing incentives for coal.

Turkey’s energy policies will lock in its commitment to coal, and Turkey will inevitably become more dependent on fossil fuels. This may lead to higher emissions until and after 2050.

New policies

Therefore, in order to combat climate change, to build a sustainable energy policy, and to reduce health and other social costs, incentives for coal should be removed, and policies that increase the share of coal in electricity generation in Turkey should be abandoned.

Turkey’s climate and energy policies should be reconstructed on the basis of the future low carbon economy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. It is not just a national necessity but also a global one.