3 OUT OF 4 INDIVIDUALS IN TURKEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE MAJORITY SAYS SOLAR ENERGY IS THEIR FIRST CHOICE.
Climate Change Perceptions and Energy Preferences in Turkey”, a report published by a Turkish climate news hub İklim Haber and Turkey’s leading polling company Konda Research, reveals the public’s perception of climate change and its energy preferences. According to the data obtained from face to face interviews with 2,595 people, there is a wide public consensus about climate change (86%) and the majority (%75) of the population say that they are concerned about climate change. The research points out that Turkey’s energy sources of preference are solar and wind energy by a large margin.
İklim Haber (a Turkish climate news hub) and the leading Turkish polling company, Konda Research have published “Climate Change Perceptions and Energy Preferences in Turkey” on World Environmental Day, and on the eve of elections in Turkey. Surveys were conducted in March 2018 through face to face interviews with 2,595 people residing in 30 city centres, 100 districts and 147 neighbourhoods and villages.
Turkish society says that climate change is happening, and a great majority of them (75%) are worried about climate change, according to the results. “In a deeply divided society, climate change is one of the common grounds in Turkey. 8 out of every 10 people, regardless of political party preferences, age, economic and social status, say climate change is happening, while 50% of them are worried and 25% of them very worried about climate change.” Says Barış Doğru, chief editor of İklim Haber.
Turkish society is not hopeful about climate action being taken by governments – including Erdogan’s government. Only 8% of Turkish society thinks that the Turkish Government is “strongly likely” to take sufficient climate action. Even supporters of Erdogan’s Party don’t think there will be decent climate action in Turkey. Only 16% of them strongly believe in the current government policies. Turkey plans to increase its GHG emissions to 929 million tonnes in 2030 (in excess of current emissions from Germany) according to its INDC. Turkey didn’t yet ratify the Paris Agreement.
Coal and nuclear? No thanks…
Another topic covered by the survey was power utilities, as they are major source of emissions in Turkey. The Turkish Government has the 4th biggest coal expansion plan (43 GW) globally and plans to install 3 nuclear power plants. “Erdoğan’s government has increasingly put a large emphasis on the presumed security of supply provided by the domestic coal” says Barış Doğru. “Domestic coal expansion is a strategic priority in the development and energy plans of the current government.” The government also started the construction of Turkey’s first nuclear plant with Rosatom and plans to install 2 more nuclear plants.
While Turkey prioritizes coal and nuclear power plants, public opinion says the opposite: Only 5.1% of Turkish society supports coal power plants while the majority (53.1%) say they would oppose a coal power plant project in the vicinity of their residence. The ratio was also very high among the current government’s voter base: 57% of AKP voters declared that they would oppose a coal power plant near their home.
As to Turkey’s preference of power plants, solar and wind got the biggest support by a large margin. 70.5% of Turkey supports the solar energy and 52.1% supports wind energy.
The specific question on coal production also shows that a great majority of Turkish citizens (83%) prefer cleaner and less environmentally-harmful energy resources over the coal. 17% think coal should be used as longs as the country has coal reserves, and only 22% of AKP voters support utilization of those reserves.
Dr. Akif Pamuk of The Earth Association and contributor of the report thinks that this opposition is based on first-hand experiences. “Coal power plants have direct physical and visual impacts in daily life. Coal power plants have been major polluters in the regions where they were installed since the 1960s. Similarly, the experience of Chernobyl was intense, and increased the number of cancer cases, especially in the North of Turkey. Naturally, society opposes power plants, as they have experienced adverse impacts as a result of them.”
Turkish citizens find common ground on climate change, perhaps more than for any other issue. The survey results indicate that there is widespread public support for substituting fossil fuels with solar and wind resources and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. The high level of existing public support, especially for solar, is an important opportunity to make use of the solar and wind potential in Turkey while taking action on an issue that is deemed a cause for concern by a quarter of the population.
For media inquiries:
Bulut Bağadır, İklim Haber, [email protected] , 0533 367 93 63
Eren Pultar, Konda Research, [email protected], 0532 738 43 98
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
“Climate Change Perceptions and Energy Preferences Research has been commissioned by İklim Haber and conducted together with a leading independent survey company, Konda Research. Questions on climate change and energy preferences were asked during the Konda Barometer (periodical and representative polling series) in March 2018 and the answers were crossed with the other answers on political and social preferences and tendencies.
The sample was selected through stratification of the data on population and educational attainment level of neighbourhoods and villages based on the Address Based Population Registration System (ADNKS), and the results of the 1 November 2016 General Elections in neighbourhoods and villages.
First, the administrative units were grouped as rural/urban/metropolitan, and then the sample was created based on the 12 regions. Within the scope of the survey, 2595 respondents were interviewed face-to-face in 147 neighbourhoods and villages of 100 districts – including central districts – of 30 provinces.
ABOUT IKLIM HABER
Iklim Haber is a Turkey based online outlet covering latest global and national developments on the field of climate science, climate economy and policies. It is an impartial, specialized and non-biased climate news hub in Turkey that produces data driven articles and news to secure Turkish pioneers among the government and non-state actors to access latest developments in climate change debate.
ABOUT KONDA RESEARCH
KONDA, founded in 198 as a research and consultancy company, is fundamentally engaged with knowledge production with a specific purpose of providing insight for the specific needs of policy-makers, business leaders and academics. As the company collects data, it also processes it to suggest novel ways of challenging established orthodoxies and existing prejudices in the analyses of politics, society and the individuals in contemporary Turkey.
KONDA has conducted face-to-face surveys with almost 1 million people in the last 30 years. Therefore, it would not be an understatement to suggest that the company has acquired the most extensive knowledge and experience on the social, economic and political behavioral codes of the contemporary society in Turkey.Click here to read the report Turkey Climate Survey