Turkey becomes last G20 country to ratify Paris Agreement on climate

Turkey became the last G20 nation to ratify the Paris climate agreement on Wednesday, almost six years after initially signing it.

Turkish environment and urbanization minister Murat Kurum said Wednesday that lawmakers had voted unanimously in favor of ratifying the agreement, just weeks before world leaders convene in the Scottish city of Glasgow for crucial talks on climate.

Kurum said on Twitter that he hoped the decision would help the country achieve net zero by 2053. Net zero is where the amount of greenhouse gases emitted is no greater than the amount removed from the atmosphere.

The Paris Agreement, adopted by nearly 200 nations, commits participants to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and, if possible, below 1.5 degrees. Each country is responsible for developing its own plan for achieving those goals.

Turkey was one of just a handful of signatory countries that had not yet ratified the pact. It had held out for years because the government opposed Turkey being categorized as an industrialized nation, which means the country is obliged to do more on climate that developing nations.

The country is not agreeing to its obligations under the current climate regime. It is adding caveats to its ratification. Turkey has been trying to get re-designated as a developing country for years so it can take advantage of development funds and other perks available to developing nations.

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