The European Union and Turkey on Thursday (16 September), held their first high level dialogue on climate change. The delegations were led by the European Commission’s executive vice president for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, and Turkish minister of environment and urbanization, Murut Kurum. They discussed the necessary steps to fight the devastating effects of climate change and to significantly cut emissions by 2050.
“The European Union and Turkey need to work very closely together. We have so many things we can solve together,” Frans Timmermans said following his meeting with Minister Murat Kurum.
Kurum called the climate crisis “a challenge that no single country can overcome on its own” and explained that Ankara was committed to doing its best to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He also stressed that the Turkish government agrees with the zero-emission and carbon-neutrality targets of the Paris Agreement, and explained that they had started talks on the support that the EU could provide for Turkey on reaching these goals.
Timmermans promised to work jointly “to face this existential crisis, which is the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis” after the talks that he called “excellent.”
He also explained that they would focus on showing their citizens that "solving the climate crisis is not just necessary but it is also possible.”
Timmermans later tweeted:
A very good first high level dialogue on climate with Turkish Minister @murat_kurum and his delegation in Brussels today. The climate crisis is an existential crisis that transcends all politics. Only by working together can we stem the tide. https://t.co/REgqJ5HKF8 pic.twitter.com/WLReJyrzNx— Frans Timmermans (@TimmermansEU) September 16, 2021