ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will aim to bring its greenhouse gas emissions 41% below business-as-usual levels by 2030, raising the target from 21%, Environment Minister Murat Kurum said on Tuesday.
Greenhouse gas emissions will peak in 2038 at the latest and Ankara aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2053, Kurum said on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh.
Turkey ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement last year and in October 2021 submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which outlines each country's efforts to reduce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
"We have updated our Nationally Determined Contribution and are raising our reduction target to 41% from 21% below the expected rise by the year 2030," Kurum said.
Kurum said Ankara expected greenhouse gas emissions to stand at 1.175 billion tonnes by 2030 under business-as-usual conditions, adding a 41% reduction would mark a cut of 500 million tonnes.
Turkey's greenhouse gas emissions stood at 523.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020, according to the latest available data, which showed a rise of 3.1% from a year earlier.
Mehmet Dogan, Managing Director at GazDay Energy Consultancy, said Turkey could not meet its base load solely through solar and wind energy.
"It does not look easy for us to achieve this target without a nuclear plant. It is a good thing that we set such an aggressive target," he said.
"We need to take steps such as carbon taxing so that people choose to switch to renewable resources," he said.
Ankara aims to start operating the first reactor at the Akkuyu nuclear plant in 2023. The plant is expected to produce up to 10% of Turkey's electricity once all four reactors are in operation. Ankara has said it plans further nuclear plants.
(Editing by Janet Lawrence)