Türkiye’s Share of the Global Carbon Budget: An Evaluation with Forecasting ScenariosGülsema Çetinkaya, Sevda Akar
The world ecosystem has started to deteriorate through industrialization since the 18th century. With the effects from global warming and climate change problems these days, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions naturally is not being absorbed. For this reason, agreements that shape climate policies such as the Paris Climate Accords, which aims to keep greenhouse gas emissions and global warming under certain limits, have come to the fore in recent years. The global carbon budget as cited in the Paris Climate Accords is defined as the balance between greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon sinks that absorb these emissions. This study attempts to examine Türkiye’s share in the global carbon budget using possible forecasting scenarios by evaluating the global carbon budgeting method. The study aims to analyze four different forecasting scenarios for Türkiye’s committed emissions for the period of 1990-2050. The study results show that should the amount of committed emissions be met with the proposed policy targets, Türkiye’s share in the global carbon budget will decrease and be able to reach the net zero carbon target.
Türkiye’nin Küresel Karbon Bütçesindeki Payı: Öngörü Senaryoları ile Bir DeğerlendirmeGülsema Çetinkaya, Sevda Akar
Dünya ekosistemi, 18. yüzyıldan itibaren sanayileşme ile birlikte bozulmaya başlamış ve günümüzde küresel ısınma ve iklim değişikliği sorunlarının da etkisiyle artan sera gazı emisyonu doğal yollarla absorbe edilemez hale gelmiştir. Bu durum sera gazı emisyon miktarının giderek artmasına ve küresel ısınmaya neden olmuştur. Bu nedenle son dönemlerde sera gazı emisyonunu ve dolayısıyla küresel ısınmayı belirli sınırlar altında tutmaya yönelik Paris İklim Anlaşması gibi iklim politikalarına yön veren anlaşmalar gündeme gelmiştir. Paris İklim anlaşması ile gündeme gelen küresel karbon bütçesi, sera gazı emisyonları ve bu emisyonların emilimini sağlayan karbon yutakları arasındaki denge olarak tanımlanmaktadır. Çalışmanın amacı, sera gazı emisyonlarının azaltılmasında küresel karbon bütçesi yöntemi ile Türkiye’nin küresel karbon bütçesindeki payını olası senaryolarla incelemektir. Çalışma kapsamında, 1990-2050 dönemi için Türkiye’nin Paris İklim Anlaşması kapsamında taahhüt ettiği emisyon hacmine yönelik olası dört farklı öngörü senaryosu değerlendirilmektedir. Çalışma sonuçları, Paris İklim Anlaşması kapsamında taahhüt edilen emisyon miktarının önerilen politika hedefleri ile yakalanması durumunda, Türkiye’nin küresel karbon bütçesindeki payının azalacağını ve net sıfır karbon hedefine ulaşabileceğini ortaya koymaktadır.
Since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 18th century, continual technological developments have increased the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas. This situation has led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and the onset of global warming. In order to limit and/or reduce the increase in greenhouse gas emissions, many conventions and protocols have been prepared, in particular the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Climate Accords. As one of the most important initiatives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Paris Climate Accords aim to limit the increase in global average temperatures to below 2°C, keeping it as close as possible to 1.5°C. However, achieving these targets will require a great deal of effort, as the amount of carbon emissions the atmosphere can absorb without leading to excessive global warming is limited.
In this framework, the balance between the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere and the carbon sinks that absorb these emissions has brought the concept of a global carbon budget to the agenda. The income portion of the concept of a carbon budget, which is calculated using the income–expense balance metaphor for the financial budget, consists of the emissions arising from fossil fuels, industry, and land-use change, while the expenses portion consists of atmospheric growth, ocean sinks, land sinks, and cement carbonation. The carbon budget deficit that emerges in this context is the amount that carbon sinks (i.e., budget expenditures) are unable to absorb from the carbon emissions (i.e., budget revenue). Therefore, implementing a global carbon budget that has more carbon sinks than the amount of emissions going to the atmosphere will assist in staying below the 1.5°C-2°C temperatures increase limit detailed in the Paris Climate Accords.
The literature on the global carbon budget generally suggests policies for reducing carbon emissions and examines the distribution of the carbon budget among countries, as well as the importance of the budget’s components and its harmony with the Paris Climate Accords. However, studies are also found stating that the sources that make up the global carbon budget are essentially uncertain, and therefore the carbon budget may be uncertain and inconsistent. Thus far, no studies are reported in the literature to have examined the global carbon budget specific to Turkiye. Therefore, this study is expected to contribute to the literature in this way.
This study evaluates the greenhouse gas reduction scenarios that are created through the possible policies Turkiye can implement within the framework of the Paris Climate Accords as well as Turkiye’s share of the global carbon budget. Turkiye’s carbon emissions began to increase through industrialization in the 1990s. This increase continued in the 2000s, but decreased in 2001 and 2008 due to the effects from financial crises. This increase in the number of emissions continued in the following years; despite decreasing in 2019–2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkiye’s contribution to the global carbon budget has increased. After the pandemic, production was increased to eliminate its negative effects on the economy, and widespread forest fires in the summer of 2021 resulted in Turkiye’s land sinks being reduced.
Turkiye has committed to a 21% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, as per the scope of the Paris Climate Accords. In accordance with this, four different emission forecasting scenarios compatible with the 1.5°C limit detailed in the Paris Agreement have been prepared within the scope of this study for the 1990-2050 period. These four can be categorized as: 1.5°C Paris Agreement compatible, almost sufficient, insufficient, and highly insufficient. If Turkiye can implement a reduction scenario that is compatible with the 1.5°C limit stated in Paris Agreement, Turkiye will be seen to be converging with its zero emissions target at the end of the period. However, even in the case of an application that is compatible with the almost sufficient scenario, greenhouse gas emissions are predicted to decrease and be able to approach the level of emissions from 1990. This scenario shows that Turkiye is able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions with the right policies and effective decarbonization roadmap.