A new page on climate

01 Apr 2010

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In the post-2012 climate regime, Turkey also plans to become an important player in combatting one of the most important challenges of the 21st century, climate change.

New Horizons - During negotiations througout 2009, Turkey had announced that it would implement nationally appropriate mitigation actions in the post-2012 period. Also known as NAMAs these actions which can also contribute to sustainable development in developing countries were addressed at a workshop organized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and UNDP in the scope of Developing Turkey’s National Climate Change Action Plan project. The workshop where Turkey’s mitigation options in the post-20I2 period were discussed, laid the foundations for a high level policy dialogue on NAMA’s and other mitigation options which Turkey intends to implement decisively in the new period.

Taking place among the developed countries and economies in transition which make up Annex-I of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) but still very much a developing country, the workshop highlighted Turkey’s special position in climate negotiations and stressed the need for Turkey to clarify its position in the post-2012 regime. Though not legally binding, considered an important roadmap for the post 2012 period, the 2009 Copenhagen Accord’s implications for Turkey were also assessed at the workshop.

Explaining that a consensus on the indispensability of a low-emmission development strategy for sustainable development was reached at the Accord, Head Researcher of the OECD Climate Change Group Jane Ellis, pointed to the fact that all Annex-I countries have set mitigation targets for the post-2012 period and proposed mitigation actions to support them except for Turkey and that all OECD countries apart from Turkey have also presented national emmission targets for 2020. If Turkey wants to have a say in climate negotiations in the post-2012 period, Turkey also has to specify its mitigation options in accordance with its national circumstances and its position in the international climate regime.

Head of the Climate Change Department of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s General Directorate of Environmental Management Fulya Somunkıranoğlu said that in order for Turkey to formulate NAMAs, the country has to determine its greenhouse gas emmision mitigation actions and complete effectiveness analyses for these actions, calculate the long, medium and short term mitigation amounts of actions, integrate the climate change action plan and strategy into development plans, improve the scope and methods of an emmisions inventory system, and come up with legal regulations and financial mechanisms to encourage the private sector to use climate-friendly technologies.

UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commenwealth of Independent States Climate Change Policy Advisor Daniela Stoycheva asserted that Turkey has to be more determined in formulating a NAMA and announce its willingness to include low-emmission development strategies into its national action plans to the the international community. Stoycheva suggested that Promoting Energy Efficiency in Turkey a project run by UNDP and other national institutions, namely the General Directorate of Electrical Power Resources Survey and Development Administration (EİE), to analyze the gaps and barriers of building energy efficiency legislation and regulations, assess capacities and implementation strategies for an integrated building design approach and develop a training programme on energy efficiency for building energy managers can constitute an example of a NAMA for Turkey.

Clarifying that NAMA’s or Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions were first mentioned in the 2007 Bali Action Plan, one of the lead authors of the Fourth Evaluation Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Niklas Hoehne said that the scope of the concept is still open to interpretation, and that countries can support this mechanism unilaterally, directly or with crediting. Being the most attractive action for most developing countries, directly supported NAMAs are known as mitigation actions in developing countries, financed by climate finance from Annex-I countries. They encompass a wide range of actions from small-scale highway projects to energy efficiency policies or national mitigation targets.

Niklas Hoehne, outlined two paths that Turkey can take in positioning itself in climate change negotiations for the post-2012 period.The country can either persuade the international community that it is in fact a developing country and develop NAMAs to benefit from this mechanism in its national mitigation actions or stay an Annex-I country and continue to benefit from funds outside the UNFCCC such as funds from the World Bank or bilateral funds from the private sector.

The second day of the workshop hosted group discussions on: energy supply, industry, transportation, buildings, waste, agriculture and forestry. Besides available and potential new actions and priorities, participants outlined options for financing mitigation actions by sectors during group discussions. In evaluating the work presented, international experts said that the results of the workshop can already be considered as NAMA examples and that the mitigation actions developed jointly by all stakeholders including the public and private sectors, academia and civil society representatives are an important starting point for Turkey.

According to the Copenhagen Accord, while Annex-I countries individually or jointly commit to implement, monitored, reported and validated quantified emmission targets for 2020, non-Annex I countries will implement mitigation actions subject to their domestic monitoring, reporting and validation. Included in the Annex-I countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) consisting of developed countries and economies in transition, Turkey’s special conditions have been recognized with the 26/CP.7 article at the 7th Conference of Parties in Marakech. Turkey will only be able to benefit from NAMAs or similiar mitigation mechanisms if it is able to convince the international parties of the UNFCCC of its special conditions and become recognized as a developing country in the post-2012 climate regime. The results of the workshop are expected to contribute to the national climate change action plan which will be actualized in the scope of Developing Turkey’s National Action Plan project supported by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office Strategic Programme Fund, where the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the executing agency and UNDP is the implementing partner.

The results of the workshop are expected to contribute to the national climate change action plan which will be actualized in the scope of Developing Turkey’s National Action Plan project supported by the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office Strategic Programme Fund, where the Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the executing agency and UNDP is the implementing partner.