President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Tuesday Turkey was willing to finally ratify the Paris climate accord.
Erdogan’s announcement at a United Nations General Assembly meeting comes after a year of violent weather events in Turkey – including bushfires and flash floods – which killed about 100 people.
In April 2016, Turkey signed a landmark agreement aiming to limit dangerous emissions that contribute to global warming, blaming scientists for becoming more extreme and more frequent.
However, the agreement still has to be officially ratified by a vote in the parliament.
Erdogan told the United Nations General Assembly that Turkey was committed to finalizing the ratification process in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.
Erdogan has been under intense pressure at home over his handling of deadly forest fires and flash floods engulfing Turkey’s Southern Mediterranean resorts and northern Black Sea coastline in August.
The two disasters and a drought in southeastern Turkey have raised the level of environmental issues in the minds of voters, particularly the younger generation.
Erdogan will need the backing of millions of teenagers who will be voting for the first time when the powerful president attempts to extend his rule into a third decade, in a General election expected as early as June 2023.