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Erdoğan offers to host UN climate talks in 2026

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during the High-Level Segment for Heads of State and Government session at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai on December 1, 2023. World leaders take center stage at UN climate talks in Dubai on December 1, under pressure to step up efforts to limit global warming as the Israel-Hamas conflict casts a shadow over the summit. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday offered to host the United Nations COP31 climate conference in 2026, Agence France-Presse reported.

Erdoğan’s announcement at this year’s gathering in Dubai puts Turkey in the race against Australia, which announced its candidacy earlier this year.

“We have announced our candidacy to host the 31st United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in 2026,” Erdoğan said.

“I am certain that you, esteemed friends, will provide the essential support in this regard.”

Turkey in 2021 became the last country among the Group of 20 major economies to ratify the Paris Climate Accords, committing itself to meet the net-zero emissions target by 2053.

The importance of environmental issues soared in Turkey in the wake of deadly wildfires in 2021 that ravaged large parts of the country’s Aegean and Mediterranean coasts.

“In pursuit of the net-zero emission target, our decarbonization roadmaps for the steel, aluminum, cement, and fertilizer industries have been finalized,” Erdoğan said.

“We intend to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 69 percent by 2053.”

Reeling from two massive earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in February, Turkey withdrew from hosting a key UN biodiversity meeting in 2024 in order to focus its resources on reconstruction efforts.

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