Energy Efficiency and Green Concensus

5 July 2023

In 2019, greenhouse gas concentrations reached a new peak, with carbon dioxide levels at 148% of pre-industrial levels, methane at 260%, and nitrous oxide at 123%: Human activities leading to these records are the cause of climate change (WMO, 2021).

The day when human consumption exceeds the Earth’s annual natural resource production, known in economic terms as demand exceeding supply, is referred to as Earth Overshoot Day. For the year 2021, Earth Overshoot Day was determined to be July 29th. This means that humans (WWF, 2021):

  • Consumed what the Earth produces in one year within seven months
  • Acted as if there were 1.7 Earths
  • Had to rely on the resources of 2022 for the remaining five months

Increased the consumption rate to the highest level since the calculation of “Overshoot” began in the 1970s. In the face of such rapid depletion of resources on Earth, certain measures have been considered. The circular economy model has emerged as a green economic model that promotes efficient use of energy and natural resources, recycling of waste and contributes to sustainable development without harming the environment. Thus, the linear production/consumption structure, which is based on the processes of “take-make-dispose” and widely used, is being replaced by a circular economy system that focuses on recycling waste, ensuring resource efficiency, reducing raw material costs, and promoting sustainability and innovation (Republic of Turkey Ministry of Trade, 2021). The principles of the circular economy are as follows:

  • Rethink
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Repair
  • Refurbish
  • Remanufacture
  • Repurpose
  • Recycle

The circular economy is gaining importance, particularly in European Union (EU) countries, as well as in China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. One of the main reasons for its emergence in our country is the strategy and goals set within the framework of the “European Green Deal” (EGD).

In the European Union, the “European Green Deal,” presented by the European Commission on December 11, 2019, aims to achieve a transformation (climate/carbon neutrality) by 2050 for EU member countries, with the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, it also aims to ensure a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for other countries trading with EU member states. Turkey, as a country with high trade partnerships with EU countries, needs to prioritize greenhouse gas emissions management. While shaping its energy management strategies and policies, Turkey needs to closely monitor the steps taken by the EU. This is crucial for maintaining relations with the EU and preserving international competitiveness. In this regard, the Ministry of Trade has prepared the “Green Concensus Action Plan” for 2021.

When examining the total greenhouse gas emission values from 1990 to 2020 according to the “Greenhouse Gas Emission Statistics, 1990-2020” data by TURKSTAT, we can observe an increasing trend until recent years.

During the transition to a green economy, as envisaged in the European Green Deal, the Ministry of Industry and Technology has begun taking steps towards a circular economy by introducing regulations in the industrial sector that are environmentally friendly and within the framework of a green economy. Turkey’s Green Concensus Action Plan lists the actions to be carried out under nine headings, consisting of 32 targets and 81 actions (Republic of Turkey Ministry of Trade, 2021):

  • Carbon border adjustments
  • A green and circular economy
  • Green financing
  • Clean, economical, and secure energy supply
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainable smart transportation
  • Combating climate change

To learn more about Energy Efficiency and Green Concensus, read our magazine: INDUSTRIAL FURNACES 8. EDITION

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