Turkey

   

Environmental Policies

#40
Key Findings
With relatively underdeveloped conservation regimes, Turkey falls into the bottom ranks internationally (rank 40) with regard to environmental policies. Its score on this measure has declined by 0.7 points relative to 2014.

Turkey has established ambitious goals in areas including pollution control, waste management and combating climate change. However, enforcement remains weak. The continued use of coal for energy production and the instance on being ranked as an emerging country for climate-policy purposes renders environmental policy efforts ineffective.

Energy consumption produces 72% of the country’s emissions, with industrial enterprises and product use contributing another 12.6%. The legislature has allowed thermal power plants to continue to operate without modern filters until the end of 2021.

Turkey has signed the Paris Agreement, but has not ratified it. Although the country struggles to manage its own waste, it has become a collector of waste form industrial countries, including some Southeast Asian countries.

Environment

#41

How effectively does environmental policy in your country protect and preserve the sustainability of natural resources and environmental quality?

10
 9

Environmental policy goals are ambitious and effectively implemented as well as monitored within and across most relevant policy sectors that account for the largest share of resource use and emissions.
 8
 7
 6


Environmental policy goals are mainly ambitious and effectively implemented and are monitored within and across some of the relevant policy sectors that account for the largest share of resource use and emissions.
 5
 4
 3


Environmental policy goals are neither particularly ambitious nor are they effectively implemented and coordinated across relevant policy sectors.
 2
 1

Environmental concerns have been largely abandoned.
Environmental Policy
3
According to the European Commission (2018), Turkey has some level of preparation in relation to environment and climate change. However, enforcement remains weak, especially regarding waste management and industrial pollution. In the short term, Turkey should complete its alignment with EU directives on water, waste management and industrial pollution, and ensure that the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive is correctly implemented. In addition, Turkey should complete its alignment with the acquis on climate change. However, Turkey’s continued use of coal for energy production and desire to continue to be ranked among the group of emerging countries in order not to risk its economic status undermines government commitments, and renders the country’s environmental policy efforts ineffective and unsustainable.

Some of Turkey’s strategic goals appear very ambitious. Under goal 1.1, “Protecting the environment and nature, preventing pollution, combating climate change,” the ministry aims to achieve several far-reaching targets by 2023. These include plans to expand its zero waste policy, separate waste at the source, provide recycling services to businesses, and provide solid waste and wastewater treatment services to all citizens. The number of public and private buildings implementing the Zero Waste Project increased from two to 13,000 in one year following a government campaign. During this period, the amount of waste collected and separated at source within the scope of the Zero Waste Project totaled 27.8 million tones. However, there is no available information regarding recycling services provided to businesses.

In 2017, monitoring and reporting on the activities of the ministry and its units was expanded, and macro evaluations and guidance procedures were developed to assess policy results. For this purpose, performance indicators were requested from ministerial units on a quarterly basis. At the end of each monitoring period, the units would be assessed. However, available information on concrete results is rather limited. Most related ministerial activities have focused on developing awareness, institutional capacity-building and infrastructural improvement (e.g., knowledge and software). Nevertheless, the ministry has achieved most of the targets set in the strategic plan.

The Ministry of the Environment and Urban Planning outlined several aims in its strategic plan for 2018. These aims focus on protecting the environment and nature, preventing pollution, and combating climate change; monitoring and controlling environments in order to improve environmental quality; accelerating environmental impact assessment processes for investments; and spatial planning and urban transformation for disaster resilient, energy efficient and environmentally friendly construction projects. While these aims can be related to certain sectors theoretically, it is not obvious from the ministry’s annual activity report how the ministry has connected these aims with the relevant sectors, including in policymaking, policy implementation and the assessment of outcomes.

According to TURKSTAT data, total greenhouse gas emissions was 526.3 million metric tons in 2018. The largest contributor to emissions is energy consumption with 72.2%, followed by industrial enterprises and product use with 12.6%, agricultural activities with 11.9%, and waste with 3.3%.

A legislative proposal allowing thermal power plants to continue to operate without modern filters until the end of 2021 was adopted by the Turkish parliament in November 2019.

Citations:
European Commission (2018) ‘Turkey 2018 Report,’ SWD(2018) 153 final, Brussel.

German Watch (2018) ‘Climate Change Performance Index: Results 2018,’ Bonn.

Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and Center for International Earth Science Information Network (Columbia University) ‘2018 Environmental Performance Index’ in Global Metrics for the Environment: Ranking Country Performance on High-Priority Environmental Issues, www.epi.yale.edu.

TC Çevre ve Şehircilik Bakanlığı 2018 Yılı İdare Faaliyet Raporu Şubat 2019, http://www.sp.gov.tr/upload/xSPRapor/files/VRa5Y+ifr-2018-son-20190321100332.pdf (accessed 1 November 2019)

https://www.duvarenglish.com/domestic/2019/11/22/akp-mhp-deputies-approve-bill-postponing-the-requirement-for-filtration-in-thermal-power-plants/

http://www.cmo.org.tr/genel/bizden_detay.php?kod=99724&tipi=67&sube=0

Global Environmental Protection

#40

To what extent does the government actively contribute to the design and advancement of global environmental protection regimes?

10
 9

The government actively contributes to international efforts to design and advance global environmental protection regimes. In most cases, it demonstrates commitment to existing regimes, contributes to their being advanced and has introduced appropriate reforms.
 8
 7
 6


The government contributes to international efforts to strengthen global environmental protection regimes. It demonstrates commitment to existing regimes and occasionally contributes to their being advanced and/or has introduced some appropriate reforms.
 5
 4
 3


The government demonstrates commitment to existing regimes, but does not contribute to their being advanced and has not introduced appropriate reforms.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute to international efforts to strengthen global environmental protection regimes.
Global Environmental Policy
4
Turkey’s Climate Change Action Plan 2011 – 2023 stresses its adherence to international commitments, standards and measures and foresees increasing cooperation with international actors, especially in the fields of combating climate change and improving energy efficiency, along with an active role in international activities more generally.

Reservations based on national concerns complicated negotiations of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which entered into force on 4 November 2016 after 55 parties to the convention joined the agreement. The Turkish Ministry of the Environment and Urban Planning signed the Paris Agreement in New York in 2016. However, the Turkish parliament is yet to ratify the agreement. Turkey is one of 10 countries out of the 197 parties to the agreement that has not yet ratified the agreement. According to Şahin (2016), Turkey lacks the political will to adopt a better climate policy. Additionally, Turkey’s plastic waste imports rose sharply from 4,000 tons per month in early 2016 to 33,000 tons per month in early 2018, with the United Kingdom being the largest exporter. Although Turkey struggles to manage its own waste, it has become a collector of waste form industrial countries, including some southeast Asian countries.

Citations:
Republic of Turkey, Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023, http://www.csb.gov.tr/db/iklim/editordosya/IDEP_ENG.pdf (accessed 5 November 2014).

Ümit Şahin (2016), Warming a Frozen Policy: Challenges to Turkey’s Climate Politics after Paris, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Volume 15 Number 2, pp. 116-129.

Greenpeace, Data from the global plastics waste trade 2016-2018 and the offshore impact of China’s foreign waste import ban, 23 April 2019, http://www.greenpeace.org/eastasia/Global/eastasia/publications/campaigns/toxics/GPEA%20Plastic%20waste%20trade%20-%20research%20briefing-v1.pdf (accessed 5 November 2014).
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