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Current situation

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

Emissions profile

Turkey’s GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF) have been steadily rising for the last three decades, increasing to 138% above 1990 levels in 2018.3 The majority of this increase has come from energy-related emissions (81%), with the transport sector registering the largest single proportional increase, more than tripling over this period.

All sectors of the economy have registered significant increases except the forestry and land use sector, which has become a considerably larger sink over time, removing almost 95 MtCO₂e in 2018, compared to 56 MtCO₂e in 1990. Emissions from the agriculture sector, which were stable between 1990-2010, have risen dramatically since, increasing by 47% (2010-2018).

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).

Turkeyʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Power
  • Transport
  • Buildings
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Other
  • Industry (processes)
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
Energy (72%)⟵ LULUCF negative emissions

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

Turkey’s rising energy sector emissions are primarily due to newly constructed coal-fired power stations. The government is targeting further new coal capacity over the next few years, with an aim to increase generation from its burgeoning domestic coal production by 44% between 2019 and 2023.4 This reflects a broader trend, with 19 GW of planned coal capacity in the pipeline. However, financing for such projects is becoming increasingly difficult, meaning some of this capacity may not eventuate.5 Reversing this planned coal expansion would have a dramatic impact on future emissions.

A rapid increase in the share of renewable energy generation has occurred in recent years, hitting 44% in 2019, above its recently updated 2023 target of 38.8%.6 The recent large increase in generation from renewables has come primarily at the expense of natural gas generation, reflecting a stated goal to secure greater energy independence. However, renewable energy growth requires greater policy support to sustain it.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

  • 21% below BAU by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).
  • 111% above 2015 levels (excl. LULUCF).
  • 96% above 2015 levels (incl. LULUCF).

Market mechanism

  • Turkey aims to use carbon credits from international market mechanisms to achieve its 2030 mitigation target in accordance with the relevant rules and standards.

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • 38.8% share of generation from renewable sources by 2023.
  • 57 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2023.