Turkey is situated in the Mediterranean basin, one of the regions most affected by the impact of climate change, the minister of environment, urbanization and climate change has said.
Murat Kurum on Saturday (July 2) spoke at an event on the impact of climate change, held at the Dolmabahçe Presidential Office in Istanbul.
The program, Circular Economy and Zero Waste Blue on the Axis of Sustainable Development, was organized by Turkey’s Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry, with the support of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Kurum said temperature maps show warming across the Mediterranean is about 20 percent higher than global average, which is why Turkey often experiences the consequences such as wildfires, floods, and drought along with global warming.
The fight against climate is not just an environmental issue, but a development issue that deeply affects many sectors, he added.
Speaking on the decisions taken at Turkey’s first climate council in February, he said, “In the next 20-30 years, we will see a greener Turkey that has largely completed its ecological transformation.
“We will see a Turkey that would develop its capacity for the green economy in all sectors, and where hundreds of thousands of people would be employed in green sectors.”
Touching on the country’s roadmap to reach the 2053 net-zero emissions target, he said all buildings will be energy efficient by 2030 and 100 percent decarbonization will be achieved in heating and cooling.
ANALYSIS: Plenty of talk, no action
As usual, the Erdogan government is long on ambitious talk and grand long-term plans, but short on action. There are two major variables that contribute to climate change, which the government can control: The first is the hydro-electric dam building craze, which is destroying local habitats, as well precipitation patterns. Thanks to lavish government subsidies, it has become popular to build these mini-dams, wherever water flows, regardless of economic or environmental feasibility.
The second is incentivizing lignite coal power plants to capitalize on Turkey’s huge but low calorie coal reserves. The government not only subsidizes electricity production with coal, but also distributes 12 million tons of the polluting stuff to poor households which can no longer afford natural gas.
Finally, the government is doing nothing to encourage highly-polluting industries like textiles, iron and steel, automotive, etc., to comply with EU Green Economy standards, which will soon start hurting key exports.
The Erdogan policy has been and shall always remain to prioritize economic growth at any cost.
Bianet, PATurkey Staff