Europe offered Turkey cash to join Paris climate accord

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Turkey ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement came this week after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government was offered a guarantee of financial support in talks with France, Germany, the UK and two development banks.

The parliament in Ankara ratified the agreement late Wednesday evening, ending years of refusal to take the final legal step to join the international agreement signed in 2015 to limit global warming.

It came after a fundamental agreement to financially support Turkey in the elimination of its emissions, which according to two people was made between Ankara and officials from France, Germany, the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the aspects of the Discussions described. They did not want to confirm whether the governments themselves were the donors or the development banks. The details of the deal would be announced “in good time,” said one.

Britain was also involved in the talks, but was not a signatory to the agreement.

Federal Environment Secretary Jochen Flasbarth called The ratification of Turkey is “a very important step on which I worked long and intensively with our Turkish colleagues”.

The Turkish Environment Minister Murat Kurum held talks last Saturday with the British COP26 President Alok Sharma, the French Environment Minister Barbara Pompili and Flasbarth.

An IFC spokesman said they are “happy to support Turkey as Turkey has decided to ratify the Paris Agreement, but it is not right that IFC funds have been pledged for that purpose”.

Following these discussions, Turkey announced a new target of “net zero emissions” by 2053 – an accurate date that is less of a detailed economic analysis of Turkish emission paths than the 600 Ottoman Empire. Turkey has not clarified whether this target applies to all greenhouse gases or only to CO2.

Turkey withheld its legal approval of the climate agreement as a means of pressure in a decades-long campaign to be considered a developing country within the meaning of the UN Climate Convention of 1992. This would make it eligible for a share in certain climate funds.

Turkey’s current status is pending where countries have offered an exemption from paying financial contributions, but it officially remains part of the group of developed nations.

Turkey’s declaration of ratification states that it will implement the Paris Agreement “as a developing country”. But one of the people who described the deal with the European governments and banks said that Turkey’s status would not change under the deal with Ankara.

Germany had floated an agreement with Turkey already in 2017, but since the US wanted to withdraw from the Paris Agreement at that time, Erdoğan was not exposed to the pressure from the great powers that he felt in the run-up to the COP26 climate talks, which will start in Glasgow in just over three weeks .

But with Joe Biden’s administration re-acceding to the deal earlier this year, Turkey was the only G20 economy that did not ratify the deal. Only Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Iran and Eritrea remain outside.

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