Lost in Scales: The Turkish Climate Movement between Global,National and Local

Monday, 16 July 2018: 19:54
Oral Presentation
Barış BAYKAN, Yeditepe University, Turkey
Since the beginning of 2000’s, the Turkish climate change movement set up a political agenda largely related to the United Nations Climate Summits. It became a part of global climate action days through European and international networks (European Greens, Greenpeace, 350.org,Via Campesina) by organizing national marches and meetings and participating in global protests during the summits. The main objective was to put pressure on Turkish government to take real action against climate change by setting national greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. Yet years of politically “addressing” the solutions for the climate change problem at the global level made lose sight of national and local levels. Climate movement shifted strategy after Copenhagen Summit failed to deliver a binding climate deal. Firstly, a national umbrella group “Climate Network” established by mainstream environmental NGOs to monitor national and sectoral policies. Secondly, there has been an effort to band together local environmental struggles of energy (coal-fired thermal power plants, hydropower projects), industrial activities and mining under the climate movement. This mostly remained limited to the operational level through organizing marches and meetings, lacking a strategic coalitional framing. Certain groups have initiated the “climate justice coalition” which also proved to be ineffective and short-lived. This paper aims at examining what accounts for ineffective linkages across different scales and organizational fields within the Turkish climate change movement. Why national and local organizations did not coalesce around into a strong climate movement? How local environmental struggles tackle climate change in a highly centralized political and administrative system?