''Arif Cem Gundogan reports on what is actually happening in Turkey regarding climate change & low carbon development''

You (Negotiator) can not speak on behalf of the people of the world anymore!

Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

What does MET Office report says on Turkey

Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Full version of the report can be found at: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/l/k/Turkey.pdf

Climate observations

  • There has been a coherent warming trend during summer over Turkey since 1960 and in the annual regional average mean, minimum and maximum temperature since the 1990s.
  • Since 1960 there have been widespread decreases in the frequency of cool nights and increases in the frequency of warm nights.
  • Changes in precipitation are mixed with decreases in winter in the west and increases in autumn in the north.

Climate change projections

  • For the A1B emissions scenario projected temperature increases over Turkey are around 2.5-3°C in the north, 3-3.5°C over central and south-western regions, and 3.5-4.0°C in the east. There is consistently good agreement between the CMIP3 models over Turkey and the region in general.
  • Turkey is projected to experience mainly decreases in precipitation, in common with the wider Mediterranean and majority of the Middle East. Decreases of over 20% are projected in the south of the country, with strong agreement across the CMIP3 ensemble. Smaller changes of between 0-10% are projected towards the north, but with more moderate agreement between the CMIP3 models.

Climate change impacts projections

Crop yields

  • The majority of global- and regional-scale studies included here generally project declines in maize yields, one of the country’s major crops.
  • National-scale studies broadly concur with the global- and regional-scale projections of a decline in maize yields in the future.

Food security

  • Turkey is currently a country with extremely low levels of undernourishment. The majority of global-scale studies included here project a positive outlook for the impact of climate change on food security in Turkey. Considering land-based food production, Turkey is not projected to face severe food insecurity over the next 40 years.

Water stress and drought

  • Several global- and national-scale studies included here project that droughts in Turkey could increase in frequency and magnitude with climate change, with the greatest potential impacts projected for the south of the country.
  • There is also consensus among global-, national- and sub-national-scale studies included here that water stress in Turkey could increase with climate change.
  • Recent simulations by the AVOID programme project a median increase of around 45% of Turkey’s population to be exposed to increases in water stress by 2100 under the A1B emissions scenario. Under an aggressive mitigation scenario, this increase is limited to 30%.

Fluvial Flooding

  • The consensus across the few published studies into the impact of climate change on fluvial flooding for Turkey suggests that extreme flood events could occur less frequently than present under climate change.
  • Supporting this, recent simulations from the AVOID programme also indicate that flood risk in Turkey could decrease with climate change throughout the 21st century.

Coastal regions

  • A number of national-scale studies suggest that Turkey could experience appreciable coastal impacts from SLR.
  • One study estimates that the population in Turkey exposed to SLR is around 428,000 along the Mediterranean coast, 208,000 along the Aegean coast, 842,000 in the Marmara region and 201,000 along the Black Sea coast.

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MET Office says: crop yield may decline in Turkey

Posted: December 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Report shows costs of taking no action on climate change

The results of a major new scientific assessment of climate change has been published (just seconds ago) which highlights the effects the world (24 focus countries in particular) could face if global temperature changes are not limited to two degrees (which will be the case as IEA warned recently).

The assessment was commissioned by Chris Huhne, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and lead by the Met Office Hadley Centre studied 24 different countries, from developed to developing.

The report underlines that temperatures would rise generally between 3-5 degrees Celsius this century, if emissions are left unchecked. This could be followed by significant changes in rainfall patterns, which may lead to increased pressure on crop production, water stress and flood risks.

The production of staple food crops may decline in parts of Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Russia, Turkey, and the USA.

Summary of the report (taken from the press release):

• All countries studied show an increase in the number of people at risk from coastal flooding due to sea level rise. By the end of the century, in the worst case scenario, up to about 49 million additional people could be at risk, with the majority being in Bangladesh, China, India, Egypt and Indonesia;

• The majority of countries studied are projected to see a significant increased risk of river flooding;

The production of staple food crops may decline in parts of Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Russia, Turkey, and the USA. In some cases, crop yield increases may be expected for example in Germany and Japan. Food security is highlighted as a growing risk before 2040 in Bangladesh and India;

• Water resources are threatened by drought and growing demand. Areas highlighted as likely to suffer increased water stress include parts of Italy, France and the southwest USA. In some cases however, water stress may decline in some regions.

The report will be accessible at: www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate-change/policy-relevant/obs-projections-impacts after 15:30 GMT, today.

* The reports consider how climate has been changing and what effect this has had and assess future impacts of climate change across 24 major economies including both developed and developing nations.

* The countries covered in the project are: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Spain, Turkey, UK and USA. The Canadian report was not completed in time for publication at Durban.

* For any press inquiry please contact:

Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW
Press enquiries +44 (0)300 068 5218
Public enquiries +44 (0)300 060 4000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)

And the fossil award goes to… Turkey!

Posted: December 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Durban, South Africa – Turkey earned the First Place Fossil of the Day today for trying to acquire funding and technology under the Kyoto Protocol without agreeing to any greenhouse gas pollution cuts. CAN cannot remember the last time Turkey took the fossil stage, but its actions recently were clearly worthy of this dubious distinction. The Fossil as presented read:

“Turkey wins the 1st Place Fossil. Turkey finally made it to the podium and managed to grab its first Fossil of the Day award today.

Turkey has increased its greenhouse gas emissions 98% since 1990 and so far avoided having any commitment or clear target to turn this trend around. Instead, Turkey is allocating its financial resources to build more coal power plants, as well as planning two nuclear power plants and pouring money into road transport. 15000 kilometers of new divided highways and a third bridge in Istanbul is underway.

Turkey is now asking to be included in the technology and financial mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol but is still not talking about any commitment or reduction targets. Turkey did not submit a pledge under the Copenhagen Accord.

Turkey is also setting a bad example for the advanced developing countries. When it comes to economic growth the Turkish government is very happy to talk about the figures, but when it comes to GHG emissions Turkey tends to hide itself under the Turkish rug.

The ‘cheeky’ move of Turkey is unacceptable. Having one of the best wind, solar and geothermal energy resources and energy efficiency potentials, the country could do more. Turkey’s ‘unique position’ among the Annex-1 countries is no excuse for doing nothing but asking for more!

We call the Turkish government to take action – put money for climate, energy efficiency and renewables and abandon coal and nuclear power plant projects.”

Source: http://climatenetwork.org/fossil-of-the-day/turkey-earns-its-first-fossil-wanting-everything-giving-nothing

Time for Walking the Talk: Climate Change Action Plan

Posted: August 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Time for Walking the Talk

Ministry publicized the long waited National Climate Change Action Plan

By Arif Cem Gundogan on Aug 1, 2011

As previously announced by the Ministry of Environment & Urbanization, National Climate Change Action Plan is published after delays caused by ministerial structure changes. One thing is for sure: despite having not met high expectations of the civic society & did not set qualitative adaptation targets, it can be counted as a very big achievement in this unambitious political environment and will cause transformational changes in many areas.

The action plan was presented to the stakeholders on 29 Aug when unusual heat waves were hitting many parts of the country. It is the final product of a UNDP led, FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office) supported project, which took more than 2 years to be completed. At the final conference of the project last Friday, the Ministry of Environment & Urbanization, UNDP Turkey & British Embassy Ankara representatives gave short speeches to congratulate each other, outline major successes and failures of the project. The experts from the Climate Change Coordination Unit of the Ministry presented the plan with a significant enthusiasm. The action plan mainly focuses on actions in two specific areas: mitigation & adaptation.

I will write on the details of the actions set soon, but in this article, I would like to focus on other details that also deserve attention in order to reflect the issue in a right context.

No ambitious targets, lack of participation

The plan has been criticized since it does not include ambitious targets (in some areas, no concrete targets at all). Ministry representatives underlined that this is just the beginning of the low carbon era and it will take time and effort to align all actors accordingly.

Several concerns have been raised due to lack of civic society participation. Despite participation of business oriented civic society organizations like TUSIAD & TOBB, lack of inclusion of most of the environmental NGO’s created mistrust on the plan among the general public. The ministry representatives accepted the responsibility and claimed that they already started to work to improve this issue.

Moving the dinosaur is (and will) not (be) easy

It has always been difficult to build a national action plan regardless of its subject since it requires consensus & commitment of various stakeholders, which have different interests. Not to mention the hardness of overcoming slow Turkish bureaucracy, The Ministry of Environment & Urbanization performed great role of coordination in this aspect. With the expertise & financial support of UNDP Turkey & FCO, Climate Change Coordination Unit did its best so far. They really gave me the impression that they will be following up closely the post-planning period because they repeatedly underlined that the document will not be a static & dusty one.

Follow-up Committee: most important outcome

Well, dozens of actions have been defined both in adaptation & mitigation areas, but who will follow up & update them? Experts gave the answer: Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the Ministry of Environment & Urbanization will track whole progress. I believe that this is the most important (complimentary) outcome of the project and as far as I understand from the feedbacks, I have the impression that I am not the only one who thinks in this way.

Expectations from the climate diplomacy

Climate Change Coordination Unit expressed that they set very ambitious position for Durban, where they will negotiate for a better (unique) position for Turkey. At the first commitment period, Turkey has no binding mitigation target and it will likely continue like this in the post-Kyoto 1st period. When it comes to the carbon markets, as expected, Turkey will continue with the Voluntary Market and push for more elastic solutions such as bilateral or multilateral carbon trade mechanisms.

Need for speed: low carbon economy on the way

Representatives underlined the fact that business environment is not that excited about possible opportunities that may born with climate negotiations. This is very interesting. I am not sure what is the reason behind it but I guess business world (apart from big players) still perceive the issue as a burden rather than opportunity.

Well, what is going on the government side? Things are getting fastened after the elections. There is an ongoing work about setting a stock exchange on carbon trade by the Capital Markets Board of Turkey (SPK). Meanwhile the Carbon Trade Working Group, which operates under the Climate Change Coordination Unit of the Ministry, also works on several important issues like a regulation on disclosure & monitoring of greenhouse gases (expected to be in force by the end of 2011). This regulation will definitely cause a boost in the number of carbon verification companies in Turkey. In addition, new opportunities are on the way with arrival of new funds likely in this September.

What next?

In addition to monitoring & evaluation activities, experts from the ministry said that they would be working on complementary projects. Socio-economic impact & cost benefit analysis should be made as soon as possible, they claimed. Another focus will be on building greenhouse gases measurement & verification procedures. Deputy Undersecretary especially mentioned that they would welcome donor supports for post-planning phase.

Last but not least

Whether we like it or not, here came the plan and even its presence on its own is a huge success. We should congratulate all parties, and start working together for more inclusive, effective, and dynamic follow-up & implementation periods. We should not forget: without the governmental bodies, incremental change will not happen.

Good luck to all!

Arif Cem Gundogan

The plan can be found here: http://iklim.cob.gov.tr/iklim/Files/İDEP_Rapor.pdf (Available in Turkish)