It is estimated that 2/3 of the world population is going to be living in metropolitan areas and mega cities, especially in developing countries, in the coming decades. This brings additional problems such as social, economic, technical and cultural issues to those metropoles. The world’s urban population will increase by 3.3 billion and reach to almost 5 billion till 2030. So best solutions of practice at global level are necessary to improve life quality and sustainability in cities.
Approximately 350 million people are presently living in the urban areas in European cities that are nearly 70% of the overall population, and according to worldwide estimations, urban consumptions are related with the two thirds of final demand and up to 70% of CO2 emissions are generated in cities. 75% of Europe’s GDP is produced in metropolitan districts, while their population only represents 59% of the total European population. Metropoles are therefore important.
Energy Issues in Turkey
Turkey became one of the fastest-growing economies in the world in 2010 with a real GDP growth of 9%. The significant growth in the economy continued in 2011 and the GDP growth rate in 2011 reached 8.5%, before decreasing to 2.2% in 2012. (NEEAP)
Turkey’s economic growth is accompanied by increasing energy consumption. Primary energy demand has been increasing between 1990 and 2012, except during major economic crises, recording an average growth rate of 2.9% between 1990 and 2012. In 2013, primary energy consumption increased by 32% from 2005. (NEEAP)
Turkey’s primary energy supply relies heavily on fossil fuels; about 93% of primary energy was supplied by fossil origin resources in 2013. Solid fuels (hard coal, coke, etc.) represented in 2013 the major source of energy, followed by natural gas and petroleum products. (NEEAP)
Climate Change Issues In Turkey
In the case of increases in the global temperature of up-to 2˚C; the expected impacts in the Mediterranean Basin of which Turkey is situated in, show the extent to which measures taken against the impacts of climate change need to be programmed. In the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC it is indicated that a 1˚C - 2˚C increase in temperatures in the Mediterranean basin would be observed, that aridity will be felt in an even wider area, and heat waves and the number of very hot days will increase especially in inland regions. For Turkey, on the other hand, the average increase in temperatures is estimated to be around 2.5°C - 4°C, reaching up to 5°C in inner regions and up to 4°C in the Aegean and Eastern Anatolia. The IPCC report and other national and international scientific modeling studies demonstrate that Turkey in near future will get hotter, more arid and unstable in terms of precipitation patterns.
The Climate Change Action Plan 2011-2023 has been developed according to the National Climate Change Strategy for Turkey. According to that action plan Turkey’s national vision within the scope of “climate change” is to become a country fully integrating climate change-related objectives into its development policies, disseminating energy efficiency, increasing the use of clean and renewable energy resources, actively participating in the efforts for tackling climate change within its “special circumstances”, and providing its citizens with a high quality of life and welfare with low-carbon intensity.
The law on Improving Energy Efficiency for the Utilization of Energy Resources and Energy by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was published in 2011. It establishes that the energy consumption of Turkish government buildings and enterprises has to be reduced by at least 20% in 2023 compared to 2010. Turkey declared on September 30 2015 that there will be a 21 percent reduction in GHG emissions from the baseline emissions under business as usual level by 2030.
This situation is expected to have; negative impacts on water and soil resources that are necessary for food production and security and therefore on development estimates in rural areas, and; gradual increase of these impacts’ severity. For example it is anticipated that 50% of the surface waters in the Gediz and Greater Menderes Basins will be lost by the end of the century and that water scarcity will be faced in agricultural, domestic and industrial water usages. (IDEP 2011-2013 MoEU)
Besides the long-term impacts of climate change, Turkey is a country that is currently struggling against the vulnerability of its water resources and coastal areas and trying to adapt its agricultural activities to the existing climatic conditions. A considerable part of the population in Turkey is concentrated in the coastal areas with its infrastructure and economic activities. It is known that these areas are facing rising sea levels, salty water mixing with fresh water and more frequently observed meteorological hazards due to the impacts of climate change. In inland regions, when considering demographic and socio-economic tendencies, the pressures on natural resources have also been observed to increase also due to the impacts of climate change. This situation shows the vulnerable position of Turkey concerning the impacts of climate change and demonstrates the need to identify the potential vulnerabilities to climate change impacts, not only in all the processes of strategies and policies produced in relation to climate, but in all areas in order to ensure afterwards taking adaptation measures. (IDEP 2011-2013 MoEU)