TSKB Economic Research Focuses on Theme of Biodiversity in the Fifth Issue of “Climate Review”.

14 December 2021
- 5 min Read

Climate awareness is essential for the protection of biodiversity!

TSKB Economic Research focused on the negative effects of biodiversity loss on all living species and the economic dimensions of these effects in the fifth issue of “Climate Review”, which is published quarterly as part of the Green Swan Platform. Setting out important determinations regarding the natural ecosystem which is at risk of being damaged by the degradation of biodiversity, the report emphasizes the need to promote climate awareness in order to prevent this problem.

As part of the Green Swan Platform, the theme of “Biodiversity” was addressed in the new issue of “Climate Review”, which is published quarterly by TSKB Economic Research and focuses on the issues related to the climate agenda. The report reveals the negative effects of biodiversity loss on all species, as well as the economic dimensions of these effects. The new issue of Climate Review also examines the financial funds and policy measures announced for the protection of biodiversity. The developments, which stood out at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) held in Glasgow in November 2021, are evaluated from the perspective of TSKB Economic Research under the title of "COP26 Special". The COP26 Special, in which the messages of the world leaders are conveyed within the scope of the conference, also features the net zero carbon emission targets announced by the countries.

Mentioning that biodiversity is defined as the sum of 8 million plant and animal species, the ecosystem that hosts them and the genetic diversity among them, the Head of Economic Research at TSKB, Ms. Burcu Ünüvar stated that even if global warming were to be limited to 1.5°c, 6% of insects, 8% of plants and 4% of vertebrates would lose more than half of their natural habitat by 2100. Warning that these ratios could double or triple if global warming extended to 2°C, instead of 1.5°C, Ms. Ünüvar added that people would need a planet 1.6 times larger than the current Earth in order to meet their needs from nature. Noting that no such was available, Ms. Ünüvar urged, “It is our responsibility to turn feeling the popularity the climate crisis into climate crisis awareness!”

“Tourism needs healthy biodiversity”

Pointing out that biodiversity is of key importance for the tourism sector around world, Manager at the TSKB Economic Research, Mr. Cem Avcıoğlu states that policies for the protection of biodiversity are mandatory for developing countries such as Turkey, whose tourism activity is relatively dependent on natural resources. Pointing out that the Mediterranean Basin is the most popular destination for tourism in the world, Mr. Avcıoğlu said, “Turkey holds an important position in tourism with its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. The report published last June by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) mentions that the sea temperature has increased 20% more rapidly than the global average in the Mediterranean due to the effects of climate change, and that the Mediterranean is the fastest warming and saltiest sea in the world. It is stated that due to the warming of the Mediterranean, almost 1,000 non-native species have migrated into the Mediterranean and replaced local species. The report also expresses that the presence of species on the seafloor is very important both for the existence of many other creatures which they provide a habitat for, and for the future of the climate due to its natural carbon sink function. Mr. Avcıoğlu emphasized that the widespread use of sustainable tourism practices is of tremendous importance in terms of supporting employment and income generation in the long run.

“Developments experienced in the energy sector may affect the course of climate-friendly policies.”

Mr. Şakir Turan, who is TSKB's Economic Research Group Manager, pointed out that carbon prices, which reached high levels due to the increase in climate sensitivity, increased the demand for energy resources with relatively low emissions such as natural gas. Mr. Turan continues his article as follows: “developments such as air temperatures being above seasonal normal levels and insufficient precipitation for a while have limited electricity production from solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants in many countries. As demand for natural gas has increased to meet the high demand for energy, the upward pressure on prices has increased.

The increase in the price of natural gas beyond a certain point has driven demand for crude oil and coal. Greater use of these resources has placed upward pressure on carbon prices, leading to a cycle which feeds the rise in demand for natural gas and prices.” Mr. Şakir Turan stated in his article that the developments to be experienced in the coming period in the energy sector may affect the course of climate friendly policies.

Some highlights of the global developments described in the Climate Review, which focuses on biodiversity, are provided below:

China created a USD 233 million fund for the conservation of biodiversity in developing countries.

The Kunming Declaration, which aims to implement policy steps to improve biodiversity at a global level by 2030, was signed at the first session of the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, hosted by China on 11-15 October 2021. In addition to the declaration, the Chinese President, Mr. Xi Jinping announced that China had implemented the Kunming Biodiversity Fund of 1.5 billion Yuan for the protection of biodiversity in developing countries, and invited other participating countries to contribute to the fund.

The European Green Deal Biodiversity Strategy

As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission published the European Biodiversity Strategy, which is focused on people and the planet, and which will ensure biodiversity recovery by 2030. While the report cites that 60% of wildlife has disappeared due to human activity in the last 40 years, it states that the world economy has lost ecosystem services of EUR 5.5-10.5 trillion per year between 1997-2011 due to land degradation.

10-Year Plan to Protect Nature

The United Nations (UN) has continued to work on the text of the worldwide plan to protect nature for the next decade. The draft text prepared by the Global Biodiversity Framework states that at least 30% of the world's land and oceans will be protected. The report also highlights that reducing plastic waste and the use of pesticide by at least two-thirds as one of the targets.

European Union (EU) expected to issue approximately EUR 250 billion of green bonds by 2025.

Emphasizing that there is strong demand for the first green bonds issued by the EU and the UK, the report sets out that the EU completed its first green bond issuance. The report draws attention to the fact that EUR 12 billion bond, which has a maturity of 15 years, attracted EUR 135 billion of bids, adding, “The UK’s first green government bond issuance attracted GBP 100 billion in bids. The proceeds will be used in flood defence systems, renewable energy and carbon capture and storage projects”.

Carbon emissions should average 2.3 tonnes per capita per year by 2030.

According to a study carried out by Oxfam, based on research conducted by the Institute for European Environmental Policy and the Stockholm Environment Institute, carbon emissions should average 2.3 tonnes per capita per year by 2030 if the global rise in temperature is to be limited to 1.5°C. The study estimated that China would account for 23% of greenhouse gas emissions by the richest 1% in the world, followed by 19% from the USA and 11% from India.

The report entitled “Climate Review” published by TSKB can be accessed at the link below:

Climate Review