To be “a developed country” or not to be? The effect of the Paris agreement on Turkish forest law
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The Paris Agreement (PA), which is an important step toward mitigating climate change, has ascribed new responsibilities to the signatory parties that differ from those of the Kyoto Protocol (KP). This study is focused on the new responsibilities and the reasons why Turkey has not yet assigned the agreement into its own domestic law, although it was signed on April 22, 2016. There are several political and legal reasons for this, but the most important is Turkey’s membership in the OECD as a developed country. Besides, developing countries shall be supported by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) at a $100 billion budget per year. Turkey needs GCF support in terms of technology transfer, capacity building, and financial in order to achieve the agreement’s goals. Turkey has demanded privileged status similar to the one in the KP, i.e., whether or not to be deemed as a developed country.
The core aim of the PA is to keep global temperature increases below 20 °C by the year 2030, insomuch as to limit temperature increases even further to 1.50 °C. This goal depends on the mitigation of CO2 levels, which means that countries should mitigate GHG emissions caused by deforestation and take further actions by primarily abandoning fossil fuels, improving/attaching importance to energy efficiency, and changing/improving land use planning. Within this context, the second part of the study analyzes the efficiency level of forestry legislation and Turkey’s climate policies in terms of the responsibilities to be assigned by the PA. The analysis is based on the question as to what extent the Turkish forestry legislation fulfills the responsibilities ascribed by the PA for preventing deforestation. Consequently, it has been concluded that eight criteria determined by the PA are not adequately included in the Turkish forestry legislation and shall require an amendment on a large scale, particularly when Turkey is deemed as a developed country.
KeywordsTurkey Paris agreement Climate change Forests Development
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