Turkey can Serve as ‘Green Industrialization’ Model: Experts

Turkey can Serve as ‘Green Industrialization’ Model: Experts

To reduce carbon emissions Turkey should invest in renewable energy, which would, in turn, reduce its imports in that sector.=

Turkey can serve as a model for other developing nations in "green industrialization," while itself focusing on efficiency and cooperation with other countries, experts said.

"Turkey has a huge potential of hydro as well as wind power compared to many developing countries," said Fatma Gül Ünal, senior economist at the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The country has a "quite diversified" economy, while its human resources and state machinery are "working in a way that may not exist in many developing countries," Ünal told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Thursday.

She was speaking on the sidelines of a panel on green industrialization in Turkey, jointly hosted by the UNCTAD and Istanbul-based Kadir Has University.

It was the first in a planned series of events under the UNCTAD project "Integrated policy strategies and regional policy coordination for resilient, green and transformative development" also to be held in Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and Malaysia.

"Turkey could be a model for the other developing countries because it has the majority of water resources in the Middle East and North Africa," said Ünal, adding that the country also has a significant amount of arable land.

"When green comes to mind, the agricultural sector provides for sustainable development and food security issues which is very current and contemporary right now," she added.

Development "has to be green-transitioned," the U.N. economist said.

'Political will needed'

By diverting a mere 2.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to green investments, U.N. member countries could generate jobs for their people, Ünal underlined.

"What is missing in this picture is political will and integrated policies, sustainable long-term policies," she remarked, adding that UNCTAD's initiative would also lead to regional talks on the exchange of knowledge to show that green industrialization is possible.

Robert Pollin, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the U.S., told Anadolu Agency that Turkey should "invest in raising efficiency standards and increasing public transportation, getting cars off the road."

Investments in electric heating and cooling is also "relatively inexpensive," he added.

To reduce carbon emissions, Pollin said, Turkey should invest in renewable energy, which would, in turn, reduce its imports in that sector.

He suggested that the country should work to "substitute imported fossil fuel to having domestic green energy."

To realize green industrialization, Pollin told the panel that "mobilizing existing institutions" would be key for more effective policies.

Pointing to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, Pollin said their efforts would also lead to policies toward achieving sustainability goals.

Cooperation

Safdar Sohail, from Pakistan's National Institute of Public Policy, said Turkey and Pakistan could "help each other and learn from each other in technology" with regard to green industrialization.

At the regional level, Sohail said, regional economic cooperation would be a better platform for the two countries' work towards their sustainability goals.

"Both countries are doing interesting things in the greening of their economy, like the collaboration between the two countries in public transport facilities," he said, pointing to the public subway line in Lahore, a Pakistani city of over 11 million people, which was built by a Turkish firm, as an example.

He said the revival of the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad railway was also a step in the direction of economic integration.

Calling for south-south cooperation among the developing nations, the Pakistani expert urged countries to use "cleaner technologies for production."

Amid "hyper globalization," he told the panel, "development practice" is needed much more at international levels before it can be at regional levels.

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