To put the country on a pathway consistent with the 1.5°C warming limit, Türkiye would need to reduce emissions by 41% below 2015 levels by 2030.
Türkiyeʼs total GHG emissions
excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr
- 1.5°C compatible pathways
- Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
- Current policy projections
- 1.5°C emissions range
- Historical emissions
Paris Agreement ratification
Türkiye finally ratified the Paris Agreement in October 2021 but remains unambitious about climate action.
1 Government of Turkey. On bi̇ri̇nci̇ kalkinma plani (2019-2023) (11th Development Plan (2019-2023)). 2019.
2 Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkish Greenhouse gas inventory report 1990–2018. 2020.
3 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Turkey Energy Strategy 2019-2023. 2019.
4 Global Energy Monitor. Global Coal Plant Tracker Database (July). Global Energy Monitor. 2020.
5 Climate Transparency. Turkey – Climate Transparency Report 2020. Climate Transparency Report. 2020.
6 Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Türkiye Ulusal Enerji Planı [Türkiye National Energy Plan]. 2022. Preprint at enerji.gov.tr//Media/Dizin/EIGM/tr/Raporlar/TUEP/T%C3%BCrkiye_Ulusal_Enerji_Plan%C4%B1.pdf
7 Republic of Turkey Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Turkey’s Fourth Biennial Report. 2019.
8 Kurum, M. Türkiye – High-level Segment Statement COP 27. UNFCCC. 2022. Preprint at unfccc-events.azureedge.net/COP27_90500/agenda
9 Government of Turkey. National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) 2017-2023. 2017.
10 Government of Turkey. Turkey. 2022 Common Reporting Format (CRF) Table. 2022.
11 Government of Turkey. Transport and Logistic Master Plan 2053. 2020.
12 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.
13 LULUCF projections by 2030 are based on a ten-year average of the latest available historical LULUCF emissions from Türkiye assessed by the Climate Action Tracker.
The country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) sets out a 21% emissions reduction target below a “business as usual” scenario (BAU) by 2030. This target means allowing for an increase in emissions of 111% above 2015 levels. The NDC is not Paris Agreement compatible, and emission projections to 2030 show that Türkiye will overachieve this very weak target under current policies.1
The Turkish government announced at COP27 that it had updated its NDC, but it has not submitted it to the UNFCCC. Rather than reducing emissions, it will still lead to their increase, and is therefore not 1.5°C compatible.
Net zero target
When ratifying the Paris Agreement in late 2021, Türkiye set a 2053 net zero target which covers all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and all sectors of the economy.
To align with a 1.5°C pathway, Türkiye would need to reduce its GHG emissions, excluding LULUCF, by at least 80% below 2015 levels by mid-century. Türkiye would need to balance its remaining emissions to a level of around 69 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050 through carbon dioxide removal approaches, particularly land sinks.
Net zero GHG
Türkiye could reach net zero GHG emissions before 2050 if the country was to maintain its land sink capacity the current level.1213
- Türkiye has a target for renewable energy to reach a 38.8% share of total electricity generation by 2023. This target was surpassed in 2019, but the government has not set further renewable energy goals.1
- A 1.5°C compatible trajectory would require an 84–86% renewables share in power generation by 2030.
- The Turkish government plans to expand coal power generation. This is not in line with a 1.5°C compatible pathway, which requires a phase-out of coal by around 2030.
- Türkiye would need to increase electrification of the buildings sector to 55–60% by 2030 and 84–89% by 2050 to be 1.5°C compatible.
- Türkiye’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan foresees implementation of standards, according to which newly constructed buildings would need to, at a minimum, meet the requirements of an Energy Performance Certificate “B”.
- Türkiye has also set short-term targets for increasing energy efficiency of the existing building stock, but they only apply to public buildings. Extending the scope of these goals to privately owned buildings would help bring the sector closer to a 1.5°C compatible trajectory.
- Türkiye’s industrial sector has seen a dramatic increase in the use of fossil gas in its energy mix in the past 15 years, from a 4% to 30% share. To align with 1.5°C compatible pathways, the sector should instead increase electrification, to 36–54% by 2030 and to 67–79% by 2050.
- The country’s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan includes a target to reduce the sector’s energy intensity by 10% compared to the year 2000 by 2023. This target is to be reached through low interest loans for energy efficiency projects and increasing cogeneration capabilities at sites with heat requirement exceeding 20 MW. Without concrete electrification targets in the industry sector, however, Türkiye risks being locked in a carbon intensive pathway.
- Türkiye has in place targets to encourage the modal shift from road to rail in both passenger and freight transport, backed with investments worth about USD 200 million.
- The Turkish government has no concrete electrification targets for the transport sector nor sufficient incentives in place to promote electric vehicles (EVs). As a result, the uptake of EVs has so far been slow.
- To align with 1.5°C pathways, Türkiye would need to halve the transport sector’s CO₂ emissions by 2030 and bring them close to zero by 2050. These targets could be achieved through increasing the sector’s electrification from its 2019 level of 0% to 36–49% by 2050.