G20 Turkey Communiqué a major missed opportunity to change the game on climate

Turkey: 16 November, 2015: Turkish civil society and climate groups from across Turkey and the world have responded to today’s G20 Leaders Communiqué with a mix of shock and disappointment.

“Coming right before the Paris Climate Summit, the G20 was an opportunity for Heads of State from a range of countries to show their commitment to scaling up climate action both inside and outside of the UN,” Cem İskender Aydin, from İklim Ağı (Climate Network) said.

“Heads of State could have provided a clear and powerful signal ahead of the Climate Summit by putting a date for the end of fossil fuel subsidies, and agreeing to stop funding fossil fuel projects around the world,” Ümit Şahin from İklim için (For The Climate) said.

“Instead they have rehashed worn positions and in doing so risk being on the wrong side of history,” he said.

By not using the G20 to get onto the same page about the critical issues to be discussed at COP21, they’ve made their job that much harder.

“A broad and diverse range of civil society, non-profits and advocacy groups from across Turkey and the wider international climate and development movement all worked co-operatively to develop a set of four clear asks for G20 Leaders to meaningfully address the great climate challenge facing us,” Barış Karapınar, General Manager of TEMA Foundation said.

They were:

  1. A complete and total end to ALL fossil fuel subsidies.
  2. Stop our financial risk from climate impacts and action; demanding the G20 set a clear plan by 2018 to stress test all spending against its compatibility with global climate commitments.
  3. An immediate end to all investment plans for the expansion of existing and all new coal fired powered plants and mines in Turkey.
  4. G20 leaders to unequivocally state their support for a long-term goal and ambition mechanism in Paris.

“We have been deeply affected by the dreadful events that have taken place in Paris and Beirut and stand in solidarity with the victims and the people caught up in the violence. These events have pushed the G20 agenda towards a strong and necessary focus on security.

“As people who live in Turkey we are no strangers to such dreadful and senseless violence. Climate change will only increase conflict, increase violence and play a role in even greater geopolitical conflicts and mass migration of desperate refugees,” Efe Baysal from Yuva Association said.

Groups as diverse as The Pentagon, the US Department of Defence, The Atlantic Council, NATO, the Global Military Advisory Council On Climate Change (GMACC), the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) and the Australian Defence Force have all concluded that climate change is one of the most serious security threats to the globe and that serious and immediate action is required.

A number of states (from the USA to Germany, Australia and the UK) have now included climate change in national security statements or strategies.

The G20 Leaders have failed to grasp this most basic of facts that the science illustrates so compellingly.

“The G20 Leaders have failed to grasp this most basic of facts that the science illustrates so compellingly. Many people around the world had seen the G20 as the perfect moment for Heads of State (HoS) to gather ahead of the COP, push the agenda on climate harder and make the work needed in Paris a fortnight later for COP21 just that little bit easier,” Christian Eicheinmuller Turkey Representative of Heinrich Boll Stiftung said.

“They have to do that. Some of our demands are incredibly simple to meet, indeed the C20 have nominated over the last few days 2020 as the year to phase out the perverse incentives of fossil fuel subsidies – all these G20 Leaders need to do is agree that this year must be the last moment for real action for the decision made way back in 2009 in Pittsburgh to be actioned!” Christian Eicheinmuller said.

G20 members are currently spending 789 times more on fossil fuel subsidies than they are on the Green Climate Fund, and yet they say in the communiqué how critical this Fund is and climate finance is – this is patently obscene,” Ethemcan Turhan from Ecology Collective said.

“The threat of new and expanding coal plants and mines in Turkey remains unattended to. This is deeply shameful, people are sick and dying from filthy coal and plans are afoot for international finance to build even more – this is a global problem of major significance,” Cem İskender Aydın from TEMA Foundation said.

“On long term goals and ambition we can see some reference on ambition but no foresight about plans to decarbonise our economies, as we know we must,” Ümit Şahin from İklim İçin (For the Climate Campaign) said.

We must hope that these Leaders display the leadership in Paris that we failed to glimpse here in Turkey on all matters to do with climate change, the most pressing of our global problems. The world is depending on it and the world is most certainly watching,” Ümit Şahin said. 



G20 Leaders Communique: https://g20.org/g20-leaders-commenced-the-antalya-summit/


C20 Sustainability Working Group- G20 must take action on fossil fuel subsidies ahead of Paris climate talks

G20 leaders meeting in Turkey this week must tell the world how they plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 or risk being seen as dragging its feet, a high-level sustainability forum declared today.

The G20 promised to phase out fossil fuel subsidies completely in 2009. But G20 governments still pump US$452bn annually into exploration for and production of fossil fuels, according to a report from the Overseas Development Institute released last week. [1]

The C20 Sustainability Working Group [2] made the recommendation ahead of this week’s G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, which will be the last opportunity for world leaders to discuss climate change before the UN climate summit taking place in Paris in two weeks time.

Samantha Smith, Global Climate and Energy Initiative Lead at WWF-International said: “With the world about to meet in Paris to come to agreement on climate, we need to see the G20 make good on its promise and provide a clear plan for ending inefficient fossil fuel subsidies in the final G20 communique. Fossil fuel subsidies aren’t just bad for the climate, they also ignore the rising health costs of air pollution, the falling returns on fossil fuel exploration, and the technological innovation which makes low-carbon energy systems the smart investment choice.”

Srinivas Krishnaswamy of Vasudha Foundation, India and co-chair of the C-20 Sustainability Working Group added that “the issue of clean, affordable, sustainable access to energy in all countries should be a priority area for the G20 countries. G20 countries should ensure that finance and technology access go to developing countries so that they can provide modern, clean energy to their citizens. Clearly, evidence from many developing countries shows that coal and fossil fuel generation has not adequately addressed the issue of access to energy.”

Cem Iskender Aydin, a Turkish representative in C20 Sustainability Working Group Steering Committee, added: “As a G20 Presidency, Turkey also has important responsibility to secure concrete action about most dangerous and polluting spending of the governments. Fossil Fuel Subsidies are damaging economy, triggering climate change and also creating social problems; therefore they should be immediately phased out. However, it is also important to indicate that Turkey should stop subsidizing coal and immediately cancel all new coal projects. “

The working group also recommended strong leadership from the G20 on providing climate finance for renewable energy, energy conservation and capacity building to address climate change. An ambitious programme of climate finance ahead of the Paris meeting should include committing new public money to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, the C20 said.




The people of Zonguldak in Turkey to G20 Leaders: We want a future without coal!

Turkey, 15 November, 2015: The people of Zonguldak, a historic coal city in Turkey, have come together during the first day of the G20 Summit underway today in Antalya to make a clear demand for “A Future Without Coal” in a concerted effort to focus the world’s attention on the enormous threats from the existing and the many proposed coal power plants in the region.

Liveable Zonguldak Platform (Yaşanabilir Zonguldak Platformu), want attention on the massive problems from air pollution and it’s impacts on human health in Zonguldak. Today they gathered at Çatalağzı where there are already two coal plants and one more that is under construction –  the Platform made a clear demand for “a future without coal”.

The people of Zonguldak, have today demanded that no more new coal powered thermal plants must be constructed, and called on G20 Leaders meeting in Antalya today to mobilise for action on climate with meaningful measures to stop the threat of coal and it’s impact on causing dangerous climate change.

In addition to the existing two coal power plants in the region, 14 new coal power plants are planned to be constructed along the 78 km coastline starting from Zonguldak-Ereğli to Amasra coast. All of the coal power plants, are planned to be constructed in Zonguldak, which is already confronting huge problems from air pollution, and are proposed to be operated with imported coal.

Bartın Platform, also struggling against coal power plants in Bartın, supported the people of Zonguldak who gathered at Çatalağzı for a future without coal.

Spite of coal power, long live life”, “Don’t be fooled by coal power plants, don’t darken your future” and “G20 withdraw your hand from the planet” were chanted loudly during the gathering.

During the rally, Havva Celep and her daughter Mürüvvet Gören, who lost their lives last week as a result of a truck accident, were not forgotten. The truck involved in the accident was overloaded while carrying coal to thermal plants of Eren Energy company. The people of Zonguldak left cloves at the location where the mother and daughter were killed.

At the end of the rally, Kadir Orhan from Liveable Zonguldak Platform, made a compelling statement about the situation in the region, saying: “It is not only Çatalağzı which is on the verge of becoming a living hell of coal powered thermal plants – for the people of the region, Turkey and indeed the world. Construction of 13 new thermal power stations are currently planned along a coastline of 78 km, between the coasts of Zonguldak-Ereğli and Amasra.”

“The local people are confronted with serious health problems, primarily with cancer. If the planned thermal power stations are actually constructed, the region will no longer be a habitable place.”

During the gathering named as “For a Liveable Zonguldak We Demand a Future without Coal”, local people also drew attention to the massive impacts of these coal power plants on impacting the climate system.

Orhan in his speech emphasised that the coal powered plants, which are already causing air and environmental pollution, are also one of the main sources of greenhouse gasses causing climate change – the greatest threat the world collectively faces.

In his statement, Kadir Orhan from Liveable Zonguldak Platform also spoke about the issues, and the demands of the people of Turkey and the international community about action on climate change, fossil fuel subsidies and climate finance, and the role the G20 Summit must play in meeting these enormous challenges.

Orhan said: “The G20 countries are those who are primarily responsible for the climate injustice in the global world, where inequalities are constantly deepening.”

Efe Baysal, of Yuva Association, who came to Zonguldak to support Liveable Zonguldak Platform emphasised the importance of the climate justice and underlined that G20 countries are responsible for 76% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.

Baysal talked about the significance of the increasing demand from Zonguldak for a future without coal power and said: “That’s why, as we give support to our friends in Zonguldak for a future without coal, we also say to G20 leaders that, we are watching you; we don’t want words but actions; and mobilise for climate before it is too late! “

Below infographics, are all creative commons and free for use and publication by media or NGOs without any attribution needed: 

Health Impacts of Coal with a key focus on impacts in Turkey #theworldiswatching 

World’s Poorest Most Affected by Coal #theworldiswatching

Climate Change and Turkish Coal #theworldiswatching

Coal Causes 1 Million Premature Deaths Every Year #theworldiswatching

Living Near Coal is Poisonous #theworldiswatching



For more detailed policy papers developed by the C20 Working Groups: www.c20turkey.org 

The G20 Heads of State Summit is being held in Antalya, Turkey on 15 – 16 November. This wealthy and powerful bloc of countries represents two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 percent of the global GDP and over 75 percent of global trade.

However, wealth does not guarantee an automatic reduction in discriminatory outcomes for economically excluded sections of society, especially women, young people and other marginalised groups. Unless benefits of economic growth reach everyone, particularly the most disadvantaged, the global economic, social and political predicament is likely to deteriorate.

Civil 20 (C20), one of the six formal G20 engagement groups, seeks to communicate policy propositions to G20 leaders in order to promote sustainable and inclusive development.

This media brief gives an overview of some of the critical issues facing today’s world that are up for discussion in Turkey – inclusive growth, tax justice, climate change, gender equality, migration crisis and anti-corruption. The recommendations presented here draw on contributions from over 5,000 individuals and close to 600 civil society organizations from 91 countries worldwide.

Climate change

76 percent of global fossil fuel emissions come from G20 countries; and more than 1.4bn people do not have access to electricity. In 2010, out of the US$409bn spent on fossil-fuel subsidies, only US$35bn, or 8 percent of the total, reached the poorest 20 percent.

The C20 calls upon G20 leaders to agree on a fair and equitable long term emission reduction and decarbonisation goal; take immediate action to completely and equitably phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 and significantly increase public climate finance; plus make energy efficiency and renewable energy an infrastructure investment priority.

Inclusive growth

The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same amount of wealth as the richest 85 people in the world; and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

The C20 calls upon G20 leaders to systematically track the income growth rates of the poorest 40 percent against the richest 10 percent and modify growth strategies, by facilitating access to social protection and public services including quality education; guaranteeing a living wage; and strengthening civil society participation in policy-making processes.

Tax justice

Following the financial crisis and a spate of high profile corporate tax dodging scandals, the G20 mandated the OECD to come up with a package of measures to tackle aggressive tax avoidance by multinational companies. In response, the OECD set up the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) process in 2013 to redefine international tax rules in order to curb profit shifting activity. G20 Finance Ministers endorsed the OECD tax package and the reforms will be formally adopted by the G20 Heads of State in Turkey. The BEPS tax package is a step forward, however, the measures contained within it simply patch up the existing rules, making them more complex and, in many cases, contradictory.

The C20 calls upon G20 leaders to support a second round of deeper global tax reforms that involve all countries on an equal footing in negotiating new rules, to ensure that multinational companies pay tax where they do business.

Gender equality

Women earn approximately 77 percent of what men earn; and pay equity between women and men will not be achieved before 2086 if it stays at the current rate. If women’s paid employment rates were the same as men’s, the USA’s GDP would increase by 9 percent, the Eurozone’s by 13 percent, and Japan’s by 16 percent.

The C20 calls upon G20 leaders to recognize and reduce women’s unpaid work through paid family care leave and paid care work; create gender-responsıve policies, such as, penalizing gender based discrimination at work and introducing gender quotas for employment; and set up national mechanisms to monitor its gender commitments.

Migration crisis

There are nearly 60 million displaced people around the globe as conflicts continue to rage in all regions. More people have been forced to flee their homes than at any time since World War II and the number is rising.

The C20 calls upon G20 leaders to work towards the recognition of refugees’ right to work, and enact measures to make this right a reality, including working with others on job creation and skills development programs to benefit refugees and host communities alike; agree to resettle a fair proportion of Syrian refugees; and increase funding available to meet refugees’ immediate needs.


Corruption undermines economic growth as about 5 percent of global GDP is lost to corruption each year. The OECD estimates that between 20 and 25 percent of public procurement budgets are siphoned away from the services and infrastructure they were meant to provide. The G20 will adopt high level principles on integrity in public procurement when they meet in Turkey.

 The C20 calls upon G20 leaders to publish national action plans on implementing the G20 Beneficial Ownership Transparency Principles; adopt concrete measures to increase transparency in public procurement; and improve the quality, quantity and timeliness of government-released data to be accessible and usable by all. 

C20 Turkey is facilitated by a committee of 14 civil society organizations working at national and international levels to promote sustainable development and tackle inequalities.

 The C20 Turkey Steering Committee comprises the following organizations:  TÜSEV (Third Sector Foundation of Turkey), Habitat, Transparency International Turkey, WWF Turkey, IKV (Economic Development Foundation), KEDV (The Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work), TEGV (Education Volunteers Foundation of Turkey), TOG (Community Volunteers Foundation), Turkish Confederation of People Living with Disabilities, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER), Oxfam, Turkey Europe Foundation. Additionally, The Foundation for the Protection of Natural Habitats and Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA) and The Mother Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) are observer members.

 The C20 Turkey Steering Committee is chaired by Zeynep Bodur Okyay, Vice President of the Board of Directors of IKV. The C20 Steering Committee is supported by a secretariat, while an International Advisory Committee provides strategic guidance.

Climate Action Tracker briefing for G20 – all climate targets in, but large Emissions Gap remains

Ahead of the G20 Summit in Turkey on Sunday The Climate Action Tracker has looked at the climate action (INDCs, or “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions”) by all the member G20 countries, and calculates that, together,  compared to a baseline level of emissions (the CAT’s ‘current policies pathways’), the INDCs contribute to bringing the G20 closer to its 2°C-consistent emissions level by only 8% and 15% in 2025 and 2030. The earlier G20 2020 pledges only bring them 6% of the way.

Taken together, the CAT finds that the aggregate G20 emissions gap for the period 2020-2030 is actually larger than the global emissions gap. This is because, under a variety of effort-sharing methodologies, many non G20 countries will be allowed emissions increases. A political commitment from the G20 to increase its climate action as a group would have a disproportionate positive benefit on closing the emission gap.

CAT- G20 Emissions Gap

Download short briefing here



The Climate Action Tracker is an independent, science-based assessment that tracks government action on climate, meaasuring it against the globally-agreed warming limit of 2˚C.   It is a joint project of the following organisations:

Climate Analytics

Climate Analytics is a non-profit organisation based in Berlin, Germany, with offices in Lomé, Togo and New York, USA, that brings together inter-disciplinary expertise in the scientific and policy aspects of climate change. Its activities include: synthesising and advancing scientific knowledge in the area of climate change science, policy and impacts; providing science and policy support to the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States in international climate negotiations, and the tracking and analysing the effectiveness of national climate policies globally. Contact: Dr. h.c. Bill Hare, +49 160 908 62463


Ecofys – Experts in Energy 

Established in 1984 with the mission of achieving “sustainable energy for everyone”, Ecofys has become the leading expert in renewable energy, energy & carbon efficiency, energy systems & markets as well as energy & climate policy. The unique synergy between those areas of expertise is the key to its success. Ecofys creates smart, effective, practical and sustainable solutions for and with public and corporate clients all over the world. With offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and the US, Ecofys employs over 250 experts dedicated to solving energy and climate challenges. Contact: Prof Kornelis Blok, +31 6 558 667 36


NewClimate Institute

NewCLimate Institute is a non-profit institute established in 2014. NewClimate Institute supports research and implementation of action against climate change around the globe, covering the topics international climate negotiations, tracking climate action, climate and development, climate finance and carbon market mechanisms. NewClimate Institute aims at connecting up-to-date research with the real world decision making processes. Contact: Dr. Niklas Höhne, +49 173 715 2279


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

The PIK conducts research into global climate change and issues of sustainable development. Set up in 1992, the Institute is regarded as a pioneer in interdisciplinary research and as one of the world’s leading establishments in this field. Scientists, economists and social scientists work together, investigating how the earth is changing as a system, studying the ecological, economic and social consequences of climate change, and assessing which strategies are appropriate for sustainable development. Contact: Dr. Louise Jeffery, louise.jeffery@pik-potsdam.de


Stranded assets information from Carbon Tracker is now available in key languages

•French http://www.carbontracker.org/francais/  

•German http://www.carbontracker.org/deutsch/

•Chinese http://www.carbontracker.org/cn/

•Japanese http://www.carbontracker.org/jp/

•Spanish http://www.carbontracker.org/espanol/

•Portuguese http://www.carbontracker.org/portugues/

•Arabic http://www.carbontracker.org/ar/

Reach out to the G20 Leaders on Twitter

  Cristina Kirscher @CFKArgentina
  Malcolm Turnbull @TurnbullMalcolm
  Dilma Rousseff, President @dilmabr
  Justin Trudeau @JustinTrudeau
  Twitter is blocked in China  
  Francois Hollande @fhollande
  Manuel Valls, PM of France @manuelvalls
  Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affiairs @LaurentFabius
  German Government don’t officially  use twitter  
  Prime Ministers Office @PMOIndia
  Rashtrapati Bhavan @RashtrapatiBhvn
  Sushma Swaraj, Minister of Foreign Affairs @SushmaSwaraj
  Official Account of Public Diplomacy of India @IndianDiplomacy
  Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia @Jokowi_ID
  Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister @matteorenzi
  Paolo Gentiloni, Minister of Foreign Affairs @PaoloGentiloni
  Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister @AbeShinzo
  Government of Japan @JapanGov
South Korea    
  Park Geun-hye, President @GH_PARK
  Official Account of Presidency @PresidenciaMX
  Enrique Peña Nieto, President @EPN
  Vladimir Putin @PutinRF_Eng
  President’s Office @KremlinRussia_E
Saudi Arabia    
  King Salman @KingSalman
South Africa    
  Jacop Zuma; President of the Republic of South Africa @SAPresident
  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President @RT_Erdogan
  Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister @Ahmet_Davutoglu
United Kingdom    
  David Cameron, PM of UK @David_Cameron
United States    
  Barack Obama @BarackObama
  Michelle Obama, First Lady @FLOTUS
  White House @WhiteHouse
European Union    
  Donald Tusk, President of European Council @eucopresident
  Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, the EU Presidency @Xavier_Bettel
  Martin Schulz, EU Parliament President @MartinSchulz
  Martin Schulz, EU Parliament President @EP_President
  Prime Miinister of Greece @PrimeministerGR

Climate Transparency Report: G20 – A turning Point


Climate action by the G20 has reached a turning point, with per capita emissions falling in eleven members, and renewable energy growing strongly, but they must all urgently decarbonise their economies to meet an internationally agreed target to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, finds a country comparison by Climate Transparency.

The initiative has drawn upon detailed analysis by leading climate policy researchers, to compare the emissions, share of renewable energy, decarbonisation levels and policy performance of G20 countries, ahead of a summit of the world’s leading economies in Turkey on November 15-16. The comparison combined analysis by the Climate Action Tracker and the Climate Change Performance Index.