Energy Law Zero Emissions and Green Development
  • 24 April 2023
  • Reading Time: 4 dk

The efforts to protect our environment and leave a liveable world for future generations are being evaluated on a global scale. It is undeniable that the resulting developments will have a significant impact on both individuals and legal entities, with the measures and regulations put in place shaping lifestyles and guiding the operations of companies. In light of this, it is crucial to evaluate the frequently encountered concepts in this context, such as “Zero Emissions,” “Green Development,” and “Sustainability.” It is well-known that countries committed to reducing or eliminating pollution and developing sustainably and in an environmentally-friendly manner have implemented various measures, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, utilizing renewable energy sources, preserving natural resources, and promoting green building practices. Furthermore, “Green Development” entails encouraging the creation of green spaces, such as parks and gardens, as well as reducing waste, increasing recycling and reusing of materials, and promoting green transportation options, such as public transport and electric vehicles.


With the Lisbon Treaty signed on December 1, 2019, “Environment” has become one of the shared areas of authority between the European Union and its member states. In this regard, the transfer of powers offered by member states in environmental issues has opened the way for a uniform environmental policy to be created in the European Union. The European Green Consensus, which was published on December 11, 2019, following extensive research, established a target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Moreover, the goal of transforming Europe into the world’s first “Climate Neutral” continent is envisaged by aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. The European Climate Law has ensured that the aforementioned agreement has been enacted as a binding document. In doing so, the legal framework necessary for a comprehensive transformation has been established through the conversion of the agreement’s targets into specific obligations. The enactment of the aforementioned agreement as a binding text was ensured by the European Climate Law on 30 June 2021. In this context, the legal basis for a complete transformation has been formed with the transformation of the targets in the agreement into certain obligations.


The developments in the European Union are very important in order to follow the developments in Turkey and the actions planned to be taken in order to protect the environment. In this regard, in parallel with the developments in Europe, Turkey has set the goal of net zero emissions and green development with the “Target 2053” vision. The vision set forth by the Presidential Circular on the European Green Deal Action Plan was published in the Official Gazette on July 16, 2021. The goals set forth in the circular overlap with the goals determined within the framework of the European Green Deal and are a roadmap that encourages green investments, is compatible with transformation policies in the global economy, and contributes to the transformation of global value chains.


In 2053, Turkey will take various measures to reduce carbon emissions to zero. These measures include increasing energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy sources, developing new technologies to reduce carbon emissions, establishing and implementing environmental standards to reduce carbon emissions, creating environmental funds to reduce carbon emissions, and developing environmental management systems to reduce carbon emissions. Among these policies, for environmental development; providing incentives, supporting projects, developing technologies, determining and implementing environmental standards, establishing environmental funds and developing environmental management systems.


Another action supported and implemented by Turkey is the Green Deal Circular. The Green Deal Circular is a directive that identifies the steps Turkey will take to combat climate change, achieve sustainable development goals, and transition to an environmentally friendly economy. This directive also reflects Turkey’s efforts to fulfil international commitments such as the Paris Agreement and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


The Green Deal Circularwas prepared as a result of consultations with stakeholders in various sectors and covers topics such as combating climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, zero waste, sustainable transportation, and agriculture. The directive determines the measures, targets, and timelines to be taken in these areas.


The Green Deal Circular imposes a series of obligations on companies in Turkey to encourage them to adopt more environmentally sustainable business methods. These obligations may include:

  1. Carbon Footprint Reduction: Companies are expected to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and carry out activities that are in line with these targets. Energy efficiency, renewable energy use, greenhouse gas monitoring, and reporting are important issues within this framework.
  2. Sustainable Resource Use: Companies are expected to direct their activities towards increasing sustainable resource use. In this context, issues such as water conservation, material recycling, effective use of natural resources, and waste management are prominent.
  3. Zero Waste: Companies are expected to work towards minimizing waste and seeking recycling, reuse, or recovery methods.
  4. Green Products and Services: Companies are required to make efforts to develop and market environmentally friendly products and services.
  5. Eco-friendly Transportation: Companies are expected to encourage the use of eco-friendly transportation methods. In this context, eco-friendly alternatives such as public transportation, vehicle sharing, and cycling are prominent.


As it can be seen, the Green Deal Certificate is designed to encourage companies to behave more sensitively and responsibly in these matters. In addition, the Green Deal Circular is a document prepared primarily to encourage and lead government institutions and sectors towards sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Therefore, the directive does not directly impose obligations on individuals. However, it emphasizes that all individuals and businesses have a responsibility to achieve the targets identified within the scope of the directive. These targets include issues such as energy efficiency, increasing the use of renewable energy sources, zero waste and recycling practices, the use of environmentally friendly products, and sustainable transportation systems. In order to achieve these targets, individuals and businesses need to take steps to reduce their own environmental impact. For example, steps such as using energy-efficient light bulbs in homes, separating household waste, recycling, and using public transportation will contribute to the steps taken under the Green Deal Circular.



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