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In brief

Türkiye is one of the developing countries that take actions and precautions regarding climate change. The Turkish government has taken many significant steps toward climate change in line with global developments. This article outlines the latest developments occurring in Türkiye in this framework of climate change.


Contents

  1. Key takeaways
  2. In depth
    1. Green Deal Action Plan of Türkiye
    2. Türkiye Hydrogen Technologies Strategy and Roadmap
    3. EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and Türkiye
    4. Emissions trading
    5. Renewable energy investments
    6. Energy storage
    7. Climate Law

Key takeaways

  • In addition to the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Türkiye also became a party to the Paris Agreement in 2016, aiming to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • In cooperation with the EU, Türkiye declared a strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 55% by 2030.
  • Türkiye is currently working on implementing a number of projects and practices by prioritizing climate change in its New Economic Program covering 2021-2023 and the Presidential Annual Program for 2023.

In depth

Green Deal Action Plan of Türkiye

The Green Deal Action Plan of Türkiye was announced in 2021 under the leadership of the Ministry of Trade with the coordination of all public and private sectors under nine basic criteria. This plan, which is a roadmap, aims to improve export competitiveness, maintain and strengthen Türkiye’s competitiveness in the international arena, increase green investments in Türkiye, assist Türkiye in becoming a center of attraction for green investments, and support green transformation.

The Green Deal Action Plan of Türkiye lists the actions planned to be realized under nine headings, including 32 targets and 81 actions. These headings are as follows:

  • Carbon regulations at the border
  • Green and circular economy
  • Green finance
  • Clean, affordable, and secure energy supply
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainable smart transportation
  • Tackling climate change
  • Diplomacy
  • Activities to inform and raise awareness on the European Green Deal

Türkiye Hydrogen Technologies Strategy and Roadmap

The Türkiye Hydrogen Technologies Strategy and Roadmap (“Report“) was published by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources on 19 January 2023. In line with the economic development and net-zero carbon emission targets for 2053, it is aimed to create a carbon-zero economy model using hydrogen. The Report covers many significant topics, such as the production, storage, distribution, and usage of hydrogen, including the development of hydrogen technologies. The Report, which outlines a general strategy and roadmap, is an important guide for the establishment of a hydrogen market.

EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and Türkiye

Türkiye is making an effort in relation to carbon reduction studies. The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) entered into force as of 1 October 2023. The CBAM, which aims to limit environmental impacts and tackle climate change, will affect many sectors that export from Türkiye to the EU.

In particular, sectors that have the potential to produce high amounts of GHG emissions, such as electricity, aluminum, fertilizer, iron and steel, and cement, may be more affected by the new regulations. Therefore, Türkiye has accelerated its work to comply with the CBAM, motivated in particular by the potential adverse effects on its exports to the EU.

In addition, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye launched the Carbon Platform to enable businesses to calculate their carbon footprint, which is of great importance within the scope of the European Green Deal.

The platform, which provides a service at Karbon.org.tr, calculates carbon footprints in compliance with ISO 14064 (Greenhouse Gas Calculation and Verification Management System Certificate) and Greenhouse Gas Protocol without any technical knowledge. The system also enables businesses to create reports on their footprints. The Carbon Platform allows companies to calculate their carbon emissions with their own consumption data.

Compliance with ISO 14064 will not entail compliance with the CBAM, as the latter is governed by its own specific GHG emissions calculation methodology contained in the CBAM Implementing Regulation. However, some information required by ISO 14064 may be useful and/or required to be included in the CBAM report.

Emissions trading

The other carbon-related topic in Türkiye is emissions trading. The Emissions Trading System (ETS), which has been put into effect in some countries to reduce carbon emissions on a global scale, aims to reduce environmental impacts by imposing an upper limit on the carbon emissions of industries. The ETS has not yet started to be implemented in Türkiye. However, the work on the Partnership for Carbon Market Readiness project continues in partnership with the World Bank and the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change. The first phase of the project, which started in 2014, was completed in 2018. This phase focused on the use of carbon pricing mechanisms, training, and awareness-raising activities. In the second phase, which was completed in 2021, comprehensive studies were carried out to establish the legal and technical infrastructure for the implementation of the ETS. By implementing its own ETS, Türkiye will take a significant step in its fight against climate change with low carbon emissions and will be one step ahead in its trade with the EU.

Renewable energy investments

The Turkish government continues to support renewable energy investments. Especially the license-exempt facility establishment opportunity, which allows for establishing renewable energy-based facilities for self-consumption, significantly increasing the share of renewable energy among the energy resources used in Türkiye. In 2023, the share of renewable energy in Türkiye’s installed electricity capacity reached 50.4%. The rise in Türkiye’s installed renewable energy capacity demonstrates the significance given to increasing the share of green and clean energy in Türkiye.

Another major initiative undertaken by the Turkish government to promote renewable energy investments is the Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism (RERSM). RERSM is a mechanism established in 2011 as part of the domestic and national energy policy of Türkiye. Through this mechanism, the Turkish government guarantees investors the purchase of energy generated from renewable energy sources for ten years. In 2021, after a legislative change, RERSM implementation prices were converted from US dollars to Turkish lira; however, RERSM base prices are still set in US dollars. The goal of RERSM is to increase the number of electricity generation facilities based on renewable energy sources in Türkiye and reduce the need for environmentally harmful fossil fuel electricity generation facilities, thereby taking a significant step toward the realization of Türkiye’s net zero emission target.

To increase the share of renewable energy resources in total electricity generation and resource diversity, in 2017, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Türkiye also launched the Renewable Energy Resource Areas (RERA) investment model. The RERA model is implemented on Treasury lands and privately owned lands to ensure more effective and efficient use of renewable energy resources. RERA is allocated to investors through a special tender procedure, and the Turkish government provides a 15-year purchase guarantee for RERA projects. In this way, the Turkish government aims to increase investment in clean energy by encouraging the use of renewable energy resources. These projects also include either foreign currency prices or floor prices/caps.

Energy storage

Another development realized by the Turkish government to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation is the installation of electricity storage facilities. The Turkish government announced that legal entities that undertake to establish electricity storage facilities in accordance with the Electricity Market Law will be granted a license for the establishment of wind and/or solar energy-based electricity generation facilities up to the installed capacity of the electricity storage facility they undertake to establish. This rule may also be applicable to existing facilities to a certain extent.

Climate Law

The Climate Law, one of the major preparations for the realization of Türkiye’s net zero emission target, is expected to be submitted to the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye soon and will enter into force in the early months of 2024.

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Author

Nigar Gokmen, Partner at Esin Attorney Partnership, Istanbul office.

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