Turkey Finally Gets on Board With Kyoto

The first world global-warming action day held in Turkey, in 2005.

The United States has a little less company in the Kyoto hold-outs club now that the Turkish parliament has ratified the international global-warming protocol. On Thursday, 243 members voted in favor of ratifying the agreement, with three against and six abstaining.

Now signed and ratified by 181 nation-states, the U.N.-led agreement requires developed countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels. Turkey had delayed signing, and then ratifying, the accord, which was first negotiated in 1997, over concerns that participation would hurt the country economically. So why ratify now, with the worldwide economy ailing?

International Influences
Turkish officials may have wanted a voice in the next round of negotiations, coming up in Copenhagen this year. Pressure from the European Union, which is still considering Turkey as a possible member state, and international environmental organizations may also have played a role in the decision.

Though Turkey will not be obligated to reduce its emissions until 2012, when the second commitment period goes into force, doing so will involve changes for its agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and other industries that the government estimates will cost the public and private sector a combined 58 billion Euros.

A Boon For The Economy?
Despite the high price of compliance, some corporations now see ratifying Kyoto as a positive economic step. "One of the ways to overcome the profound economic crisis that we are caught in is adopting a sustainable and new model of production," the Turkey Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD) said in a statement. "In this sense, innovation and clean technology are important for future reduction of carbon emissions."

According to Greenpeace, Turkey is the 23rd-largest carbon emitter in the world. Among the 40 industrialized countries identified in Annex I of the protocol, its emissions have increased at the highest rate since 1990, by 82 percent. Ratifying Kyoto won't clean up Turkey's act overnight, but it's a step in the right direction. Via: "Kyoto ushers in new era for Turkey," Today's Zaman

More On The Kyoto Protocol
16 Kyoto Protocol Nations On Track to Meet Emissions Reductions Target, Through No Fault of Their Own
Kyoto Protocol Lawsuit Dismissed: Canada Gets to Keep Dragging Feet on Climate Change Action
Austria Not Pulling its Weight in Meeting Kyoto Objectives
Russia Joins Global League of Climate Obstructionists, Putting Future U.N. Treaty in Doubt
Iraq Again Focuses Attention on U.S., This Time By Ratifying Kyoto
Japan Taking the Easy Way Out to Meet Kyoto Obligations
Influencing The Post-Kyoto Framework
China Open To Post-Kyoto Framework
Canada Sort of Commits to Kyoto. We think.

Related Content on Treehugger.com