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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

Climate Justice Between and Within Countries: The Example of Turkey

Environmental Policy
Green Politics
International Relations
Policy Analysis
Social Justice
Climate Change
Domestic Politics
Alper Almaz
Scuola Normale Superiore
Defne Gonenc
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Alper Almaz
Scuola Normale Superiore

During the international negotiations, parties have spent substantial efforts on clarifying the question of justice arising out of climate change and emphasized mainly two types of climate justice: Distributive justice, referring to the rights and responsibilities of the states, and procedural justice, referring to “who should take decisions over what issue, by what means, and on whose behalf”. Nevertheless, climate injustices take place within countries as well. The issue of climate justice within countries has not been sufficiently analyzed in the literature. This article aims at contributing to the burgeoning literature on climate justice in Turkey, by looking at both between and within state level injustices arising out of climate change.

Turkey’s history of climate justice is full of paradoxes. On the one hand, Turkey claims to be an engaged international actor in international efforts to tackle with climate change. The country also ranks among the top five OECD countries with the highest environmentally related tax collection as a share of GDP. On the other hand, it continuously celebrates opening new coal power plants with national pride, which stands in contrast to the commitments to reduce the usage of coal in electricity production globally. At the same time, Turkey had the highest rate of increase in the greenhouse gas emissions among the Kyoto Annex I. Also, despite wide range of institutions and policies in place about climate change, Turkey’s mitigation efforts have been quite limited. What, then, does climate justice mean for Turkey at an international level among other states, and at a national level among its own citizens? This article studies the narratives of climate justice in Turkey. Drawing on the scientific reports, newspaper articles, policy documents and semi- structured interviews with bureaucrats, NGOs, business actors and social movements, we examine narratives of climate justice, articulated by policy stakeholders in Turkey, at international level and their impact upon the climate change policy in Turkey from a historical perspective.
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