Turkey’s Grand National Assembly on Wednesday ratified the Paris climate change agreement, a move that comes nearly six years after the agreement was originally signed. However, as the latest G20 country to ratify the deal, Turkey is still not happy with its classification as a developed country under the deal.
Despite signing the agreement in 2016, Turkey has long hesitated to ratify it due to what the country perceived to be injustices stemming from its listing in Annex 1, the list of developed countries. Under Articles Nine to Eleven of the Agreement, developed countries are required to support the efforts of developing countries to fulfill their obligations under the Agreement. This extends to finance, technology and capacity building support. Ultimately, this translates into greater obligations for those classified as developed countries.
Even after passing the bill ratifying the deal, lawmakers released a statement that even though Turkey had ratified the deal as a developing country, they hoped the move would not undermine the country’s law. to focus on their own economic and social development. They also sent a proposal to the UNFCCC secretariat to remove their name from the list in Annex 1. This development follows the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech to the UN General Assembly last month. He called on countries with “historic responsibility” for issues leading to climate change to bear the heaviest burden of responsibility in his fight.
This Turkish request raises several concerns that will need to be resolved under international law. The dispute is likely to be settled under the law of treaties (Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties), to which Turkey is a signatory, the Paris Agreement itself not addressing reservations of this nature. There are also fears that Turkey’s ratification conditions will not be accepted in the end.
The proposal has been placed as a provisional agenda for the next climate change conference in Glasgow.