Undersecretary of the Ministry for Environment and Urbanisation Mustafa Öztürk said that Turkey will install a vehicle tax based on CO2-emission. That is just one of the measures to promote CO2-reduction in Turkey.
By Laurens Bammens*
Private and public sector alike assemble 14 and 15 April at Istanbul Technical University for the Istanbul Carbon Summit. The goal is to plan the roadmap for the future after the Paris agreement from last year. The agreement will be ratified on April 22nd, 2016.
Turkey does not want to lack behind on this matter. That is why undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation Mustafa Öztürk announced some concrete measures Turkey is taking. Öztürk emphasised that his ministry is working tightly together with the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.
One of those measures is a special tax to promote the use of electric cars. Vehicle tax will evolve in a tax that is based on emission. An electric car with zero emission will only have to pay the base tax. Old cars with a lot of emission will have to pay more.
I want to ride my bicycle
The ministry is also exploring the option of adding bicycles lanes in certain cities around Turkey. This would promote the use of a bicycle which is a lot more eco-friendly than cars or even public transport. Öztürk however did say that in some cities this would not be possible because of the infrastructure. He did not specify which cities would receive bicycle lanes.
Another measure is making squares car-free. The minister said: ‘Some squares should not have traffic. We would like to show the people that you can live without cars.’ The neighbourhoods would be a lot more safer and a lot more cleaner.
They are also looking into parking spaces in Istanbul. New flat building will have to come with a car park for all the inhabitants. The minister mentioned an example of Japan where people need to own a parking space before they can buy a car. He did say that this would not be possible in Turkey, but he is exploring what can be done about car parks.
Domestic nuclear power
Turkey would also like to have 6 million tons of renewable waste. Now it only stands at 500 000 tons. Renewable waste means regular waste that can be re-used as raw materials. Most of it would go to cement factories since those factories are credited with 5% of the carbon emission.
70% of CO2-emission comes from energy. 20%-30% of that is electricity. Turkey realises they have to screw this back as much as possible. That is why the government is investing more in natural gas and hydro and thermal energy plants. Although it seems as the government has not really understood the message. Over one year ago, Turkey started building its first nuclear power plant.
Rıfat Sayman from the Regional Environment Centre said that while Turkey building its own domestic car, it is much more important that they have their own production in windmills and solar energy plants.
Also Mustafa Öztürk gave a disappointed impression about the Turkish way of doing things. He mentioned he could not find any studies or reports in Turkish about renewable energy. Yet he could find dozens of them in English. He urged the Turkish professors to encourage their student and themselves to do research on green energy and publish it in Turkish. ‘Young people should find a new logic’, he said, ‘so they can implement the zero-waste philosophy.’
***Laurens Bammens, PXL Journalism student and he is Dağ Medya Intern during the 15 February – 3 June 2016