Whether we like it or not, the signs of global climate change have begun to show in the beautiful lands of Anatolia; Turkey is one of the countries in the world where climate change has manifested itself most clearly. Despite the government taking necessary precautions, individuals also have a responsibility and must take action for a better future and a healthy planet
Climate change is the new norm for every living thing across the world. It is a fact that we have to agree on and act to stop its consequences as much as we can. Our planet is heating up and despite efforts, it is impossible to reverse what has been done to the world and its atmosphere.
The term “global warming” was first used in a scientific article by geochemist Wallace Broecker of Columbia University in 1975; however, mankind started to impact the climate long before that. It was the Industrial Revolution that started the change in our atmosphere. The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 400 parts per million in the last 150 years. Although scientists began to consider that increasing temperatures could cause irreversible damage to our planet, it was not until 1992 that the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change was established and countries around the world were mobilized to stop climate change before it was too late.
What is Turkey doing to stop climate change?
As one of the countries that will be affected the most by global climate change, Turkey has been initiating various programs to mobilize not only the public but public offices as well. In the fight against global climate change, energy is the key. Instead of using fossil fuels, Turkey has put weight behind the use of sustainable energy. Within the scope of the “National Sustainable Energy Action Plan,” the share of sustainable energy in energy production in Turkey exceeded that of fossil fuels. While electricity production from sustainable energy resources was 34 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2002, it increased by 168 percent and reached 91 billion kWh in 2016.
Also, Ankara has mobilized to rebuild big cities with “passive buildings,” where energy and water efficiency will be key. Since 2017, all the buildings in Turkey have to receive a “green building” certificate to be built.
Waste management, especially in cities, also plays a crucial role in the fight against climate change. Within the scope of the “National Waste Management Action Plan,” Turkey manages to recycle more than half of the plastic bottles that are produced in the country. Moreover, by 2023, the government plans to spend TL 22 billion ($3.68 billion) on recycling facilities. Starting next year, Turkey will also charge customers for each plastic bag in order to lessen their usage and circulation.
What can we do to help stop climate change?
In the mobilization against climate change, each individual has a duty to revise their lifestyle and make changes for a better and greener world. Here are a few things that you can do to decrease your carbon footprint:
- Reduce the heating in your house by just 1 degree, which can decrease energy consumption by up to 10 percent
- Buy energy-efficient electronic devices
- Turn off electronic devices instead of keeping them on standby mode
- Keep your fridge’s cooling between 1 and 4 degrees to save 5 percent energy
- While cooking, keep the lid on the pan
- Make sure you fill up your washing machine and dishwasher before turning them on
- Take a shower instead of having a bath in the tub
- Check your plumbing and make sure there are no leaks
- Stop buying unnecessary plastic, start recycling
- Use public transportation instead of taking your personal car every day
- Go green and eat more vegetables
- Plant a tree for the future of the planet