Statement bu Turkey at the High Level Meeting on “Climate And Sustainable Development For All”

Rauf Alp Denktaş 29.03.2019
Madame President,
Let me begin by thanking Madame President of the General Assembly for her tireless efforts to make the UN relevant for all, and to bring yet another significant issue to the attention of member states.
Climate change is “one of the greatest challenges of our time” that originates from unsustainable development patterns in industry, urbanization, energy, and consumption. Its adverse effects are increasingly felt in every aspect of social and economic life, and undermine the ability to achieve sustainable development. We see that climate change mostly affects the most vulnerable around the world: urban poor, rural people, women, children and immigrants, and puts the survival of many societies at risk.
There is no doubt that combatting climate change remains at the heart of efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals. It is encouraging to see that with the 2030 Agenda, member states recognize the importance of taking urgent action to combat climate change, and the fact that the achievement of sustainable development goals cannot be taken in isolation from this existential problem.
Madame President,
2019 will be another milestone in attracting global attention to the urgency and priority of tackling climate change. We would like to thank Mr. Secretary General for dedicating this year’s Summit to climate action.
As part of the work towards the Summit, Turkey, together with Kenya and UN Habitat, will be co-leading one of the nine transformative areas: “Infrastructure, Cities and Local Action”. We believe that our joint efforts as the co-leads, along with our other key partners, will substantially contribute to triggering local climate action all around the world. We are firmly united around the common goal of responsible climate leadership.
Turkey sees climate action as an opportunity: An opportunity to change our destinies in the face of a global threat, to achieve sustainable development, and to ensure high quality of life.
In Turkey, local climate action has been ambitiously kicked off long ago. Several municipalities implement their respective “Climate Action Plans” and have stepped up efforts to strengthen related international networks.
Turkey supports local actors in scaling up their efforts to combat climate change to the highest level possible.
Turkey has also made substantial efforts at the national level. Today, the installed capacity of renewable energy is more than 45 % of the total capacity, a figure which makes Turkey the leader in its region. The share of renewable energy in primary energy supply of Turkey is higher than the OECD average.
Last year, we adopted the “Energy Efficiency Action Plan” with an overall target of decreasing primary energy consumption to 14 % by 2023.
In the last 15 years, Turkey has substantially invested in railways. Turkey is also enlarging its forest areas very rapidly. Our 2023 target is 30 % of overall national territory.
Under the “Zero Waste Project” launched in 2017, Currently, more than 13 thousand zero-waste system are in place and in a period of 20 months, around 500 million greenhouse gas emissions have been mitigated.
In an effort to reduce plastic consumption, single-use plastic bags are priced out, and by 2023, we will also charge a deposit fee on drinking packages. As regards adaptation, Turkey is revisiting and revising its National Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan on the basis of latest scientific evidence and information.
As a party to the UNFCCC, Turkey has also actively contributed to the global efforts against climate change. Turkey declared its intended nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement in 2015, and the ratification process is under consideration. As an emerging economy, Turkey has a reasonable demand in the form of access to financial and technological support under the UNFCCC.
Although, the post-2020 climate regime does not sufficiently meet our expectations, we will continue to put out the maximum effort to combat climate change within our capabilities.
As I conclude, I once again emphasize that Turkey will maintain its efforts to tackle climate change within a broader perspective of advancing sustainable development efforts.
Thank you.