Turkish Parliament passes Paris climate agreement

Turkey will implement the accord in time for next month's Cop26

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves as he arrives to deliver a speech to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on Wednesday. Photo: AFP
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Turkey's Parliament on Wednesday ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change, more than five years after Ankara first signed the landmark deal on cutting emissions that contribute to global warming.

The vote followed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement at the UN General Assembly in September that Turkey would implement the accord in time for next month's Cop26 summit in Glasgow.

Turkey has felt the full force of climate change, with a rapid succession of floods and wildfires killing about 100 people in July and August.

Large parts of the country have also suffered from an extended drought.

The crises have heaped political pressure on Mr Erdogan to tackle greenhouse emissions blamed for global warming, which scientists say is contributing to increasingly extreme and frequent weather events.

Almost 200,000 hectares of forest have been scorched in Turkey this year, more than five times the annual average for 2008 to 2020, data from the European Forest Fire Information System shows.

Before Turkey's ratification, the Climate Action Tracker project said Ankara's efforts to reach the Paris accord's goals were "critically insufficient".

Climate change has become one of the greatest issues of concern to Turkey's youths, millions of whom are set to vote for the first time in elections expected in 2023.

About 95 per cent of young people in Turkey believe climate change is one of the biggest threats facing the country, according to a report last month by the British Council as part of its Global Youth Letter on Climate Action.

Turkey's reticence to ratify the accord came over disputes about the amount of funding given to specific countries and timelines for putting stricter regulations into place.

Updated: October 06, 2021, 9:18 PM