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Ambition gap

What is Turkeyʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

1.5°C compatible pathways

Turkey has not expressed a commitment to begin reducing its emissions, instead projecting steeply rising emissions until 2030, even under its planned policies scenario.7 This is also reflected in its INDC of 21% below BAU by 2030, which corresponds to an increase of 111% above 2015 levels (excluding LULUCF). Our analysis demonstrates that Turkey would need to put forward a more ambitious NDC to reduce emissions by 41% below 2015 levels (excl. LULUCF) by 2030 in order to be on a 1.5°C trajectory.

While 1.5°C compatible scenarios show Turkey’s emissions peaking by 2020, there is no indication of an emissions peak under the current 2030 target and associated government emissions projections. This implies that Turkey expects emissions to continue to rise beyond 2030, deviating further from a 1.5°C compatible pathway.

Long term pathway

In addition to the steep medium term emission reductions required for 1.5°C compatibility, by mid-century, remaining GHG emissions should not be higher than 49-88 MtCO₂e/yr or be reduced by around 90-81% below 2015 levels excluding land sinks, but including the use of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). If land sinks were to remain at their current level into the future, Turkey would reach net zero GHG emissions before 2050.8,9

Remaining emissions, mostly from the agriculture and waste sectors, will need to be balanced with negative CO₂ emissions through the deployment of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches. To achieve net zero GHGs by mid-century, Turkey would need additional carbon dioxide removal from LULUCF or technological options at a level of 49-88 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050.

1 Climate Action Tracker. Turkey. CAT July 2020 Update. (2020).

2 Government of Turkey. On bi̇ri̇nci̇ kalkinma plani (2019-2023) (11th Development Plan (2019-2023)). (2019).

3 Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkish Greenhouse gas inventory report 1990–2018. (2020).

4 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Turkey Energy Strategy 2019-2023. (2019).

5 Global Energy Monitor. Global Coal Plant Tracker Database (July). Global Energy Monitor. (2020).

6 Climate Transparency. Turkey – Climate Transparency Report 2020. Climate Transparency Report. (2020).

7 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Turkey’s Fourth Biennial Report. (2019).

8 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

9 LULUCF projections by 2030 are based on a ten-year average of the latest available historical LULUCF emissions from Turkey assessed by the Climate Action Tracker.

10 Least-cost pathways analysed here assumes already a certain amount of carbon dioxide removal technologies, in this case bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Methodology

Turkeyʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
−100%−50%0%50%100%19902010203020502070
Reference year
2015
1.5°C emissions level
−44%
INDC
+111%
Ambition gap
−155%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
2030 emissions levels
Current policy projections
INDC
1.5°C emissions level
Ref. year 2015
473MtCO₂e/yr

Energy system transformation

Turkey’s primary energy demand mix is characterised by a high share of fossil fuels (more than 90% in 2017), which would need to be at least halved by 2030 (from around 5.4 EJprimary/yr to around 2-3 EJprimary/yr) and reduced sixfold by 2050, to align with a 1.5°C compatible pathway. Turkey’s primary energy demand could reach a 100% share of renewable energy and fully decarbonise by 2050.

Renewable energy generation as a share of total primary energy would need to more than double by 2030 from its 2017 level of 12%. The demand for oil, mainly for the transport sector would need to roughly decline by half from its 2017 level by 2030. A combination of reduced private vehicle use and government support for electric vehicles could help to achieve the necessary emission reductions in the transport sector.

1 Climate Action Tracker. Turkey. CAT July 2020 Update. (2020).

2 Government of Turkey. On bi̇ri̇nci̇ kalkinma plani (2019-2023) (11th Development Plan (2019-2023). (2019).

3 Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkish Greenhouse gas inventory report 1990–2018. (2020).

4 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Turkey Energy Strategy 2019-2023. (2019).

5 Global Energy Monitor. Global Coal Plant Tracker Database (July). Global Energy Monitor. (2020).

6 Climate Transparency. Turkey – Climate Transparency Report 2020. Climate Transparency Report. (2020).

7 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Turkey’s Fourth Biennial Report. (2019).

8 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

9 LULUCF projections by 2030 are based on a ten-year average of the latest available historical LULUCF emissions from Turkey assessed by the Climate Action Tracker.

10 Least-cost pathways analysed here assumes already a certain amount of carbon dioxide removal technologies, in this case bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Methodology

Turkeyʼs primary energy mix

petajoule per year

Scaling
SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020504 0006 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020504 0006 000
Low Energy Demand
20192030204020504 0006 000
High Energy Demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020504 0006 000
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS
  • Unabated fossil
  • Renewables incl. Biomass
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS

Turkeyʼs total CO₂ emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂/yr

−200−100010020030040019902010203020502070
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible emissions benchmarks

Key emissions benchmarks of Paris compatible Pathways for Turkey. The 1.5°C compatible range is based on the Paris Agreement compatible pathways from the IPCC SR1.5 filtered with sustainability criteria. The median (50th percentile) to 5th percentile and middle of the range are provided here. Relative reductions are provided based on the reference year.

Reference year
Indicator
2015
Reference year
2019
2030
2040
2050
Year of net zero GHG
incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
Total GHG
Megatonnes CO₂ equivalent per year
473
506
263
242 to 305
123
84 to 175
69
8 to 92
2052
Relative to reference year in %
−44%
−49 to −36%
−74%
−82 to −63%
−85%
−98 to −80%
Total CO₂
MtCO₂/yr
378
396
231
172 to 259
88
25 to 136
5
−19 to 57
2055
2046 to 2068
Relative to reference year in %
−39%
−54 to −32%
−77%
−94 to −64%
−99%
−105 to −85%

Footnotes