Cost-Benefit Assessment of Implementing LULUCF Accounting Rules in Turkey

Bouyer O., Serengil Y.


  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-45035-3_8
  • Page Numbers: pp.89-129


Turkey is an Annex 1 Party with "Specific circumstances" because it has the fastest population growth rate among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries and lowest per capita energy-related CO2 emissions among the International Energy Agency (IEA) countries. In addition, all national indicators show that Turkey is in fact a developing country. It was deleted from Annex 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and not included in the Annex B of the first term of the Kyoto Protocol (KP1). In the context of preparation of a 2015 multilateral treaty on climate change, which would enter into force in 2020, differentiation between Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 Parties may be revisited, and it seems useful to explore the possible consequences of such a reclassification. Accordingly, this study aims at providing a neutral cost/benefit assessment of implementing Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) accounting rules in Turkey in the future, as one possible scenario. The rationale for this assessment is based on a technical and objective deduction and does not in any way pre-empt the national positions put forward by Turkey in the climate negotiations or any possible COP decision that may determine its future classification, considering its specific circumstances. Turkey started reporting LULUCF under the Climate Convention in 2006. Presently, the LULUCF sink (made of a forest sink for its bigger part) is estimated to offset 12 % of Turkey's total greenhouse emissions. For afforestation/reforestation (A/R) (Article 3.3), the objectives of the 2014-2017 OGM (General Directorate of Forestry Turkish abbreviation) Strategic Plan were considered. For forest management (FM) (Article 3.4), two alternative scenarios were considered: 90 Mm3 of roundwood harvest between 2013 and 2017 (intensive harvest) and 25 Mm3/year of felling (industrial round wood) harvest by 2020 (extensive harvest). The corresponding volumes of firewood, felling and total round wood were forecast accordingly from 2013 to 2020. The carbon credits or Removal Units (RMUs) for Article 3.3 ARD and Article 3.4 FM (including the carbon storage in harvested wood products) were estimated using the guidelines from the intergovernmental panel of experts on climate change and taking into account the upgraded LULUCF rules. For Article 3.3, it was estimated that 119.4 million RMUs could be generated between 2013 and 2020, which is more than twice the maximum amount of RMUs to be generated under Article 3.4 FM. The total economic values (TEVs) of Turkey's forests have been estimated based on recent studies and then used to calculate benefits. Taking into account the recent European Union (EU) market price (Kyoto market) or the recent forest carbon price (Kyoto and voluntary markets), carbon benefits are reduced in all scenarios compared with other values included in the TEV of the forest. If we consider the carbon shadow price (i.e. the recommended carbon price from 2011 to 2050, to achieve the EU target of reducing GHG emissions fourfold by 2050), it is worth noting that the situation is quite different: for the 3.4 FM areas and mainly for 3.3 ARD areas, the carbon benefits are substantial. However, this price level is still far from attainable as negotiations stand now, unless the international community is able to adopt a strong political commitment in coming years.