United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Convention:
As the first and most importance step taken in the international area against the negative impacts of global working on the climate and entered into force in 1994, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCOCC) aims at decreasing the greenhouse gas emission, encouraging the technological cooperation, and protecting the greenhouse sinks (forests, oceans, etc.) Taking the development levels, historical responsibilities, development priorities and special conditions of the parties into consideration for achieving such objectives, UNFCOCC adopts the the principle of “mutual yet differentiated responsibilities and relative skills” along with the state classification in the appendices of the Convention. The states listed in Annex-1 are the ones that possess historical responsibility, and they are liable to limit the greenhouse gas emission, to develop the greenhouse sinks and to communicate the relevant state data. The states in Annex-2 are, in fact, the subset of the list in Annex-1. They bear financial liabilities in addition to those of listed in Annex-1. Also, they are responsible for providing assistance to the unlisted developing companies in terms of the transfer of finance and technology. The states that are not listed in the Annex are encouraged in this aspect, too. However, they are not laid with a certain liability.
At first, Turkey was included in the lists of Annex-1 and Annex-2 UNFCOCC for being a party to OECD, however Turkey was removed out of Annex-2 and recognized to be an Annex-1 State with specific condition thanks to the incentives taken by the same later-on. In fact, Turkey is a developing country with low historical responsibility in terms of global greenhouse gas emission, and lower average emission per capita.
Since 1992 when UNFCOCC was undersigned, it can be clearly seen that the historical responsibilities have undergone a radical change. Notwithstanding, 10 countries with the highest rates of emission across the world are still not included in Annex-1. Moreover, despite the fact that Turkey was included in these Appendices due to being a party to OECD, 4 countries that became a party to OECD after 1992 are still not included in Annex-1. Additionally, 9 of the G-20 countries, representing the largest economies across the globe, are not included in the list of Annex-1, either
Our country has become the 189th party to UNFCOCC in 24th March, 2004, pursuant to the law no.: 4990 dated as 16.10.2003, which was published in the Official Gazette no.: 25266, dated as 21.10.2003.
Accepted in 1997, Kyoto Protocol entered into force in 2005. In this protocol, the parties listed in Annex-I were given digitized emission reduction targets.
Turkey became a party to Kyoto Protocol in 26th August, 2009 by presenting the participation instrument to the United Nations, after the acceptance of the law no.: 5386 by Turkish Grand National Assembly in 5th February, 2009, and the Cabinet decree no.: 2009/14979 dated as 13th May, 2009.
Notwithstanding that Turkey was a state listed in Annex-1 while not being a party to UNFCOCC when the Kyoto Protocol was accepted, Turkey does not bear a liability of digitized emission reduction undertaken within the scope of the Protocol.
Paris Convention is basically grounded on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and it aims at regulating the regime of fighting against climate change after 2020, which is the expiry date of Kyoto Protocol.
Despite not bearing a historical responsibility, Turkey is using its limited resources in order to fight against climate change. Notwithstanding that Turkey is recognize as a state listed in Annex-1 within the scope of UNFCOCC, Turkey undersigned and became a party to Paris Convention, displaying a sincere determination in terms of fighting against climate change. As a fast-developing country, Turkey is a state with high potential on the emission reduction, yet experiencing problems in terms of financial, technological mechanisms and capacity building aspects. Turkey wishes to be granted with the equal opportunities with the countries having similar development levels. Under the light of all the data presented, the position of Turkey within the scope of UNFCOCC is factually inaccurate. Not only does Turkey wish to make progress on a larger scale within the scope of global climate action with a rather fair positioning in UNFCOCC, but Turkey is also taking steps in the direction of this matter.
26th Conference of the Parties of Convention will be held in Scotland/Glasgow in United Kingdom between 9th – 19th November, 2020.
The decisions taken concerning Turkey in the Convention of Parties to UNFCOCC:
Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
Turkey became a party to Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in 1991.
National and international studies & works concerning the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Ozone Layer are carried out under the coordination of our Ministry.
Due to being undersigned by 197 parties (196 states and European Union), as well as being the first convention and practice undersigned universally in the history of United Nations, Montreal Protocol is recognized as an extraordinary example of international collaboration.
Accepting four Amendments of Montreal Protocol, including London, Copenhagen, Montreal and Pekin Amendments up until Kigali Amendment, our country is one of the states conducting the requirements of the protocol successfully.
Termination of ozone-depleting substances with Montreal Protocol is swiftly increasing the consumption of the alternatives of these gases, such as fluoro greenhouse gases within air conditioning and cooling industries, in particular.
With Kigali Amendment, it is aimed at reducing the consumption of Fluoro Greenhouse Gases (i.e. Hydrofluorocarbon, HFC) having a quite powerful greenhouse effect, which was added under the appendix of “The Substances that are under control”, listed under the Montral Protocol.
With the reduction to be achieved after putting the Kigali Amendment into practice, it is foreseen to reduce the global temperature increase by 0.5 centrigrade degree by the year 2100.
It is expected for the first reduction to be achieved by the developed countries in 2019.
Being among the developing countries within the scope of Montreal Protocol, our country will manage to keep the HFC consumption at a reference value in 2024, thus performing the first reduction in 2029.
Additionally, due to being listed among the developing countries, our country benefits from the Multilateral Funds (MLF), thus projecting to benefit from the Multilateral Fund with the objective to implement the Kigali Amendment.
With the entry into force of Article 4 of the Kigali Amendment, trade restrictions will be imposed on countries that are not parties to the change as of 2033.
Our Ministry organized Informative Workshops and relevant activities on Kigali Amendment in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir. Accordingly, the relevant sector is aware of the obligations that this Amendment will bring.
The Montreal Protocol's accession to the Kigali Amendment, adopted at the 28th Conference of the Parties, is still going-on. On May 29, 2019, the "Law Proposal on the Amendment to the Montreal Protocol (Kigali Amendment-2016), which was agreed upon at the Twenty-eighth Meeting of the Parties" was adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly - Turkey Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
International efforts are carried out to take precautions with regards to the management, disposal and transportation of industrial wastes against possible damages to the environment and human health. In this context, the relevant studies & works have been started within the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The "Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal" drawn up accordingly, entered into force on 05.05.1992.
The number of countries as the parties to the convention is increasing as the days pass. Today, there are 187 countries as party to the convention and 53 signatories to the Convention. Our country undersigned this Convention on 22.05.1989 and became a party on 22.06.1994. The law on becoming a party to the convention was published in the Official Gazette dated 31.12.1993 and with the issue no.: 21804.
The objectives of this Convention are as follows,
- To reduce the transboundary movements of hazardous and other wastes,
- To ensure that hazardous and other wastes are rehabilitated and disposed of in accordance with the environmental requirements, and in areas as closest to where they are produced
-To minimize the production of hazardous and other wastes. (In terms of amount and possible damages.)
Provisions of the Convention:
- Party states must have national legal regulations in line with the Convention requirements.
- Every person involved in waste handling must comply with the relevant national laws and regulations.
- Party states must prohibit the export of waste to countries that prohibit the import of hazardous wastes or other wastes.
- In cases where the importing state does not prohibit the import of wastes, the exporting country should not allow the export without the written approval of the importer and transit country.
- The party states should not allow the import or export of hazardous wastes and other wastes from countries that have not ratified the Convention to those under undersigning bilateral agreements according to the Convention.
Pursuant to the Basel Convention, the notification procedure to be made before the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes forms the basis of the Convention control system. Accordingly, prior written notification must be made to and approval must be obtained from the competent authority of the relevant countries (import / export / transit country) for waste transportation. In addition, it is a must to have a transportation document from the starting point of the movement to the disposal.
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
“The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade” requires that when the export of prohibited or restricted hazardous substances and substance groups is in question for the purpose of protecting the environment and human health, a notification must be sent to the country where that chemical will be exported, within the framework of certain rules that the chemical will be exported, and a system to be used for these notifications.
The contract in question was undersigned by our Ministry on September 11, 1998. "The Law no.: 6988 Regarding the Approval of The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade " as accepted on 09.03.2017 was published in the Official Gazette dated 03.04.2017 with the issue no.: 30027. The Convention officially entered into force for Turkey on December 20, 2017.
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
The objective of the Stockholm Convention is to impose bans and restriction on the use, production, import and export of certain pesticides that survive in the nature for longer periods of time, while also leading to certain harmful impacts on the human health and environment by means of accumulating in the fatty tissues of the people and living organisms through food chain, along with certain chemicals used in the industry, and some chemicals generated as by-products due to the industrial and incineration processes.
The "Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)" was undersigned by our Ministry on May 23, 2001, as drawn up by the United Nations Environment Program-UNEP, banning and restricting the use of 12 chemicals that adversely affect the environment and human health due to their persistent characteristics. It was approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (Official Gazette: 14.04.2009, No.27200) on April 14, 2009 and published on July 30, 2009 by being accepted by the Council of Ministers. (Official Gazette: 30.07.2009, No. 27304). The Convention officially entered into force for Turkey on 12 January 2010.
Minamata Convention on Mercury
Having adverse impacts on human health and the environment, mercury is one of the most dangerous heavy metals. Mercury and its compounds are widely used. Being released into the atmosphere by air emissions or evaporates through the processes, the mercury precipitates into the soil and water after a while, thus consequently entering in the food chain and damaging lives of all, as we know it.
With the mercury poisoning that occurred in Minamata, Japan in the middle of the 20th century, mercury and mercury compounds, along with their wastes came into the agenda of the global public opinion. For this reason, the "Minamata Convention on Mercury" was drawn up under the leadership of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in order to contribute to efforts to prevent mercury-related environmental pollution on a global scale. This Convention was opened to the states for becoming a party to between 10-11 October 2013 in Kumamoto, Japan, and then at the United Nations New York Headquarters until 9 October 2014. The Minamata Convention was signed during the "High Level Event" hosted by Japan, Switzerland, the USA and Uruguay within the scope of the opening of the General Meeting of the 69th General Assembly of the United Nations. This contract was also undersigned on September 24, 2014 the date by Turkey.
The Minamata Convention comprises of certain control and mitigation measures for products, processes and industries using, releasing or emitting mercury and their mercury-containing waste. Under the scope of the convention, the following matters will be rendered mandatory for countries:
- To prohibit the production, import and export of certain mercury-containing products until 2020 and to effectively dispose of their wastes,
- To create strategies in order to reduce the amount of mercury used and its emissions,
- To use the Best Available Technologies in new facilities to be opened within a projected manner in order to reduce emissions from large industrial facilities,
- To reduce emissions for existing facilities within the framework of a specific plan.
The process for Turkey to become a party to Minamata Convention is still going-on.
The Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea Against Pollution
With the "Regional Seas Program" established by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in 1974, it was decided to include the Mediterranean among the priority targets, and accordingly, the Mediterranean Action Plan was created in 1975 with the participation of Mediterranean riparian countries and the EU. In this context, the Convention for the Protection of the Mediterranean Against Pollution "(Barcelona Convention) was accepted in Barcelona in 1976 and entered into force in 1978.
After the decisions taken at the UN Environment and Development Summit (1992), the Barcelona Convention framework has been expanded to include coastal areas as well as the marine environment. In this direction, by adding elements such as sustainable development goal, public participation, environmental impact assessment, the name of the renewed Convention was changed to "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment and Coastal Zone of the Mediterranean". This convention entered into force in 2004. Our country accepted the convention in 2002. 21 countries and the EU became a party to the convention.
The objectives of Barcelona Convention are as follows:
There are 7 protocols under the convention. Our country is a party to 5 of these protocols.
Turkey will host the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the Convention, which will be held in Antalya in December 2021.
With the objective to prevent pollution from the ships and the atmosphere, along with the land in the Black Sea, Bucharest Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution was was undersigned on 21 April 1992, by the representatives of six countries having a coast on the Black Sea, including Turkey (Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey). The convention is carried out by the Black Sea Commission, which includes high-level representatives (commissioners) of the contracting countries, as an executive body. Coordination between countries is ensured out by the Permanent Secretariat of the Black Sea in Istanbul. Turkey is the home for the Black Sea Commission and the Permanent Secretariat. As the highest level executives of the Permanent Secretariat, steering directorship is carried out by a representative selected from Turkey.
Following the aforementioned Convention, "Strategic Action Plan for the Rehabilitation and Protection of the Black Sea (BSSAP)" was adopted at the Ministerial Conference held in Istanbul on October 30-31, 1996. With this acceptance, the obligation of countries to fulfill the activities specified within the scope of the BSSAP program has been brought in, accordingly. Black Sea Strategic Action Plan is an extremely important plan aiming to improve and protect the Black Sea. This plan was accepted at the Conference of the Ministers of the Environment of the Black Sea Countries, which was held in Istanbul on October 30-31, 1996 by 6 countries with coasts to the Black Sea. October 31, as the date when six countries on the Black Sea have signed such a plan, has been recognized as the "International Black Sea Day".
The objective of this group is to provide the necessary information and data, as well as proposing recommendations to the Black Sea Commission for the effective implementation of the Bucharest Convention and the Strategic Action Plan.
1. Advisory Group on the Control of Land-Based Pollutants (LBS)
2. The Advisory Group on Environmental Aspects of Shipping (ESAS)
3. The Advisory Group on Pollution Monitoring and Assessment (PMA)
4. The Advisory Group on the Management of Integrated Coastal Zone (ICZM),
5. The Advisory Group on Conservation of Biological Diversity (CBD),
6. The Advisory Group on Environmental Aspects of Management of Fisheries and Other Marine Living Resources (FOMLR)
These are the centers established to coordinate the work of the relevant Advisory Group and to compile the relevant reports accordingly. Each activity center is assigned to an Advisory Group.
1. Control of Pollution from Land Based Sources, works carried out by the Activity Center under the coordination of Turkey
2. Environmental Safety Aspects of Maritime, works carried out by the Activity Center under the coordination of Bulgaria,
3. Monitoring and Evaluation of Pollution works carried out by the Activity Center under the coordination of Ukraine,
4. Management of Integrated Coastal Areas works carried out by the Activity Center under the coordination of Russian Federation,
5. Protection of Biodiversity works carried out by the Activity Center under the coordination of Georgia,
6. Fishing and Other Marine Creatures, works carried out by the Activity Center under the coordination of Romania