Greenhouse Gas Emission for Sustainable Development
Sustainability is defined as the capacity to maintain continuity of production and variety while ensuring that the continuity of human race is maintained. In other words, it is meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It means leaving the world in the same conditions we have to the future generations.
Today fast increasing world population has made urbanization and industrialization a problem. Therefore, the question “What is sustainability and what can be done about this?” has become important.
The “IPCC Special Report on Sustainable Development Goals” provides guidance for us. This report which also includes topics about sustainable development and limiting global warming to 1.5 °C offers many solutions to achieve this limit of 1.5 °C.
Especially renewable energy systems are critically important for human health and life. They help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When it comes to “sustainable environment“, reduction in many areas should be achieved. These are climate change, poverty, industrialization, inequality, water safety, hunger, air pollution, health, energy and housing.
Industrialization, agriculture, hunger, climate change, air pollution and energy will have the priority. Greenhouse Gas Emissions have also become a crucial topic for sustainable development.
What are Greenhouse Emissions?
Compounds that consist of carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Hdyrofluorocarbons (HFC’s), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) which trap heat in the atmosphere are called “Greenhouse Gases”. Greenhouse Gas emission refers to the amount of these gases released into the atmosphere.
Considering that Turkey is founded on “agriculture, animal husbandry and industrialization”, Greenhouse Gas Emissions will allow us to answer to the question of what can be done for sustainability. Emissions should be reduced to prevent these harmful gases entering into the atmosphere.
Actions that can be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are listed below:
- Transition from energy intensive industrialization to less energy intensive industrialization and to develop incentives for this transition,
- Regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions of energy intensive industrial plants,
- Transition from energy intensive transportation to less energy intense transportation and to develop incentives for this transition,
- To work to transform landfills into bioreactors,
- To develop an integrated management system for the recovery of waste,
- To develop and implement a tax system for buildings without insulation,
- To develop and implement a tax system for old vehicles,
- To remove old sea vessel from service,
- To design incentives for vehicles and sea vessels with low emission values,
- To protect wetlands,
- To increase forestation activities,
- To increase the number of ponds and lakes,
- To restrict the use of old vehicles for public transportation,
- To increase green spaces in cities,
- To reduce the use of low energy efficient heating, cooling systems and kitchen appliances to achieve better energy efficiency,
- To encourage the use of energy efficient tools and equipment,
- To build bicycle lanes to travel to work and school in cities,
- To switch to additional fuel systems instead of waste and fossil fuels with high calories,
What are Goals for a More Sustainable Environment?
The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. These goals are reviewed with the questions how can sustainability be achieved and what does sustainability mean? This list which contains 17 goals is planned to be implemented until 2030. Our goals also include these 17 goals.
- No poverty (10% of the world population suffer from extreme poverty.)
- End hunger (More than 820 million people in the world today are malnourished.)
- Good health and well-being (Child mortality has increased 50% in the world.)
- Quality education (Since 2013, 59 million children most of whom are girls and 65 million teenagers have not had any education.)
- Gender equality (Unfortunately, women are considered as inadequate in all areas except in agriculture in many parts of the world.)
- Clean water and sanitation (Every day more than 800 children die due to contaminated water and associated lack of hygiene.)
- Affordable and clean energy (There are many renewable energy sources today to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.)
- Decent work and economic growth (According to the International Labour Organization there were more than 204 million people who were unemployed in 2015.)
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (The three important factors of sustainable development are infrastructure, industrialization and innovation.)
- Reduced inequality (there are inequalities in income as well as inequalities based on gender, age, disability, race, class, ethnical origin and religious beliefs.)
- Sustainable cities and communities (Approximately 70% of global carbon emissions are produced in urban areas. If these emissions cannot be reduced by the year 2030, sustainable development will become almost impossible.)
- Creating an awareness of responsible consumption and production
- Carrying out projects related to preventing climate change
- Always considering that there is life underwater and increasing the area of wetlands
- Life on Land (According to the Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Service Global Evaluation Report, approximately 1 million animal species and plant species are in danger of extinction within 10 years).
- Partnership in Peace, Justice and Empowered Organizations
- Partnerships to achieve the goal
Sustainability Principles Compliance Framework and Reporting
The Capital Markets Board (SPK) in Turkey has issued an important regulation for publicly traded companies to integrate sustainability into their short, medium and long term decision making processes and to incentivize this integration.
The Communiqué on Corporate Governance “Sustainability Principles Compliance Framework” published by the Capital Markets Board was amended on 2nd of October, 2020. Although compliance with these published principles is voluntary, companies are asked to explain their rationale when they do not comply. We will share information with you here about how a sustainability report is written and things to consider.
First of all, when writing a sustainability report, the company should adopt the SPK’s “Comply or Explain” approach. This has been implemented actively since 2021 under the guidance of Borsa Istanbul AŞ in accordance with the article “incentivize our firms to have more share in the global sustainability investment trends” in the Action Plan of the Coordination Council for the Improvement of Investment Environment (YOIKK).
All these ongoing activities have to reflect the most concrete output of the work of the Task Force which includes the SPK, companies, related NGOs and professional associations. With the SPK’s “Comply or Explain” approach, companies are expected to explain their environmental, social and corporate governance information in line with the principles framework.
Companies that prepare sustainability or integrated reports should also pay attention to the timing of these reports. According to the communiqué published by the SPK, sustainability reports should be made available at the same time with the annual activity report. The most correct method is to prepare and share “Integrated Activity Reports”.