In the wake of climate change-induced events, such as wildfires and floods, Turkey and the European Union discussed areas where they could advance their climate cooperation, in the pursuit of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans and Turkish Minister of Environment and Urbanisation Murat Kurum exchanged views on urgent and drastic actions required to close the gap between what is needed and what is being done in terms of cutting emissions down to net-zero by mid-century and thereby keep the 1.5°C goal within reach. They discussed carbon pricing policies as an area of common interest, considering the forthcoming establishment of an Emissions Trading System in Turkey and the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System. Adaptation to climate change also featured high on the agenda along with addressing and reaping the benefits of nature-based solutions to counter both climate change and biodiversity loss.
“The devastating events we witnessed this summer, in particular around the Mediterranean, show how quickly reality is catching up with scientific scenarios,” said Mr Timmermans. “There is an urgent need for climate ambition and clear commitments from all governments. I am looking forward to Turkey formulating its own Green Deal and putting in place ambitious domestic climate policies. Crucially, domestic financial flows should be redirected to climate-friendly investments to boost resilient economic development. To continue competing and trading in a fast-changing global market, both Turkey and the EU need to set their economies on a modern and sustainable course.”
In the run-up to the COP26 negotiations, the need for urgent climate action has been recently further confirmed by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in the Climate Change 2021: Physical Science Basis report. At the political level, the pre-COP summit in Milan at the end of the month as well as the G20 summit at the end of October – in which both the EU and Turkey will participate – will be important milestones ahead of the Glasgow conference.
“I regard the High-Level Climate Dialogue between the EU and Turkey as a great opportunity to strengthen our cooperation in combating climate change and to support Turkey’s accession process to the EU,” added Minister Kurum. “Turkey considers combating climate change not only as a supra-political and borderless matter but also as a security and development matter. In this respect, Turkey resolutely maintains its efforts in combatting climate change. However, the economic cost of all these activities is extremely high. In combating climate change, Turkey’s access to international climate finance resources will render our efforts more effective globally.”