How Turkey resolved to ratify the Paris climate agreement

“Ratify Paris! “, asked the young activist Atlas Sarrafoglu, one of the ambassadors of the “climate generation” in Turkey, in an Instagram post a few months ago. It is now done. Five years after its signature by the country, the Turkish Parliament approved unanimously the Paris climate agreement, Wednesday, October 6 in the evening.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced it from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 21. Turkey has delayed ratification because it wants to be considered a developing country in order to benefit from the Green Climate Fund, a financial mechanism to help the most vulnerable countries of the United Nations (UN).

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The prospect of COP26, to be held in Glasgow from 1er on November 12, convinced Recep Tayyip Erdogan to have the text ratified. With Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, the country was among the last recalcitrant – out of the 195 signatory parties – to ratify the text. A posture likely to tarnish its credibility, while climate diplomacy is gaining in importance in international forums.

Protection of the Turkish economy

Barely returned from the United States, the Turkish president wasted no time. The text arrived in committee for examination in the first days of the start of the parliamentary term, Tuesday, October 5. Turkey thus commits to participate in the effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to 2 ° C above the pre-industrial level, and achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. In the corridors of Parliament, there is talk of a deadline of 2053, but the government should not formalize a date for the next few weeks.

“We expected this decision, assures Murat Bakan, deputy of the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and member of the environment committee in Parliament. Professional organizations like Tusiad [un syndicat patronal laïc] insisted on the fact that it was absolutely necessary to ratify the Paris agreement, otherwise it would have a cost. In reality, the main motivation is not really to save the planet or to reduce Turkey’s share in global warming, it is to prevent this from harming the Turkish economy… It is already in bad shape. . “

The European Union (EU), Turkey’s main trading partner, has in fact adopted the green pact imposing sanctions, in particular a carbon tax at the borders which would hamper the export of several products of Turkish industry.

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