The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), which made separate presentations to the Global Climate Change Research Commission of the Parliament, are demanding that Turkey ratify the Paris Agreement.
TOBB Sectors and Entrepreneurship Department Head Ahmet Saygin Baban noted in his presentation that Turkey is the only country among G20 members that has not ratified the Agreement. “Turkey opting out the Paris Agreement means to opt out the world. If we don’t ratify it, we won’t even be able to sign free trade agreements (FTA). This is a threat for us,” said Baban. Countries have started to shape their foreign policies with the target of emission reduction. “Our Credit Default Swap (CDS) premium is high, we’ll need to find loans from abroad and access to finance. There is a serious risk here,” he said, stressing that the Parliament should clearly decide whether the agreement will be signed or not.
If Turkey misses the Green Deal process, the country will have a risk losing its global competitive power and export sophistication, Baban added. “We make 60% of our exports to members of the G7. If our business world isn’t a party to this transformation soon, it will face carbon border taxes and lose competitive power due to increasing financing costs,” he noted. The green transformation, he stressed, means new employment and education policies. The green transformation will hike global growth by 0.4 per year and create 30 million new jobs around the world, according to TOBB’s estimations.
The annual cost will exceed EUR 1bn if the European Union (EU) levies A EUR 30 carbon tax per tonne at the border but itwill double if the carbon tax amounts to EUR 50 per tonne. Baban stated that this will seriously affect competitive power.
RATIFICATION PROCESS MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO COP 26: TUSIAD
Climate change isn’t the sole environmental problem and compliance with the Paris Agreement is crucial, according to Fatih Ozkadi, President of TUSIAD’s Environment and Climate Change Working Group. “It’s important to continue the global climate regime shaped by the Paris Agreement in a way to include all scientific, technical and diplomatic aspects with a strong committee,” said Ozkadi. The organization is also demanding that Parliament become a party to the Agreement prior to COP 26.
The EU, which has recently signed an FTA with Vietnam, is about to finalize an FTA with Mexico. Ozkadi said the FTA signed with Vietnam poses a risk for Turkey in near term and the most important reason why Turkey has achieved growth during the pandemic is the continuation of exports. “As a country, we must absolutely continue exports, notably to the EU because it is extremely difficult to explore new markets from scratch in case we don’t continue exports,” he added.
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