As 2020 marks the five-year milestone of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the timeline for keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5°C is narrowing. Across the world, climate change exacerbated disasters are on the rise, from the multitude of hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean to the Australian bushfires, and almost each consecutive year is breaking the record of being the “hottest.” In Turkey, there were 936 climate-related disasters in 2019, the highest value, followed by 871 in 2018 and 731 in 2015. Lately, we experienced a dust storm in Ankara, and a deadly flood in Giresun, and hail events in Istanbul. Implementing ambitious climate action policies to solve the climate crisis is more urgent and vital for more than ever.

Why 1.5 degrees and why until mid-century?

The current global average temperature is 0.85°C higher than it was in the late 19th century. The last three decades have been the hottest in records since 1850.

Warming from anthropogenic emissions from the pre-industrial period to the present will persist for centuries to millennia. Thus, it will continue to cause long-term changes in the climate system, such as sea level rise, and have lasting impacts.

Scientists indicate that an increase in the Earth’s average temperature of 2°C compared to the temperature in pre-industrial times is a critical threshold. Once passed, the risks for catastrophic changes occurring in the global environment will be much higher. For this reason, the international community has recognised the need to keep warming below 2°C.

The Paris Agreement sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.

1.5°C would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change. In order to keep warming at 1.5°C, a balance needs to be achieved between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals in the second half of this century, Meaning that climate neutrality needs to be achieved globally by 2050.

2020 also demonstrated the global extent and impact of a systemic shock with the Covid-19 pandemic, bearing many similarities to the climate crisis, especially in how disproportionately it affects our most vulnerable. The post-COVID economic recovery cannot follow a "business as usual" path. Recovery and the transition to a sustainable, socially just, resilient and climate neutral economy can and should go hand in hand. It requires a green consensus, among all stakeholders: from governments to private sector, from local communities to youth for “building back better”. And Global Goals and European Green Deal and EU Green Recovery  are our bricks to build it.

Everything we do is affecting and will be affected by the climate crisis. Yet our hope shall not falter facing these apocalyptic scenarios unfolding before us and pushing us into despair, apathy or outrage. At this historical turning point where there is much at stake and much to do after the Covid-19 pandemic, we all have actions we can take both individually and collectively.

Current climate pledges of nations are short of reaching climate neutrality until mid-century. Thus, global actors such as the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) have been promising climate action. Local governments and the private sector are making pledges and developing mitigation and adaptation plans with on-the-ground actions. Civil society is launching numerous awareness raising campaigns to instigate action. Youth and other concerned citizens are calling for action on the streets and revising their production and consumption choices.

European Union Delegation to Turkey (EUD) and UNDP Turkey are inviting you all to their joint campaign for the EUD Climate Diplomacy Week 2020, aiming to bridge knowledge and action, showcase activities and good practices, and to promote further action across all stakeholders.


Starting from 19 October 2020 and continuing until 21  November 2020, the Climate Diplomacy Week will host a social media campaign, an outdoor awareness campaign, webinars, press-meetings, and many more...

We encourage all to join the campaign and activities, organize your own events, share your climate action stories and spread the word to others by using the hashtags: #wearetheclimate #wewillchange or  #iamtheclimate #iwillchange

More About Climate Diplomacy Week

Press Invitation
What COVID-19 Pandemic Tries to Tell Us About Climate Change
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