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Turkey aims for a clean slate as greenhouse gases keep rising

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published12 hours ago

The latest statistics show greenhouse gas emissions considerably increased in 2015 while Turkey strives to diversify its energy resources and increase investments in renewable, nonpolluting energy. State-run statistics agency TurkStat released the 1990-2015 greenhouse gas emissions figures for Turkey Monday. Overall emissions as carbon dioxide equivalent became 475.1 million tons in 2015 and a 122 percent rise was registered in greenhouse gas emissions per capita according to figures showing only 3.88 tons of emissions per capita in 1990 and 6.07 tons in 2015.

Turkey, which was once one of the biggest polluters in the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, is gradually cleaning up its act by focusing on renewable energy and turning its back on coal power. Renewable energy plants are more integrated with the country’s electricity sources.

Increasing energy consumption in the country of 77 million people makes Turkey one of the highest in the world in terms of energy demand growth. A growing economy is another major drive in the growing demand as industries make up almost half of the total energy consumption. Currently, the country relies on hydroelectricity, especially in rural areas, and is still heavily dependent on energy imports for domestic demand.

Parliament ratified the Kyoto Protocol against climate change in 2009. Under the protocol the country has the responsibility to organize the gas emission inventory and the computation of emission reduction. The government encourages investors to take up renewable energy projects and provides incentives, especially for energy-efficient products.

In overall 2015 emissions, the energy sector had the largest portion with 71.6 percent, TurkStat figures show. It was followed by industrial processes and product use with 12.8 percent, the agricultural activities with 12.1 percent and the waste with 3.5 percent.

Turkey is ahead of developed countries in terms of greenhouse emissions cuts, according to a National Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Forests helped the country see reductions of greenhouse gases in 2015, far more than the amount of reductions in European countries or on other continents. In terms of energy, the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry looks to boost domestic energy production in an ambitious plan. A series of wind power plants will be built in seven regions across Turkey and they will have an installed capacity of 1,000 MW.

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