Turkey can be a model for ‘green industrialization’: expert

ISTANBUL: Turkey can serve as a model for other developing countries in “green industrialization”, while focusing on efficiency and cooperation with other countries, experts said.

“Turkey has huge hydro and wind potential compared to many developing countries,” said Fatma Gul Unal, senior economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

She said the country had a “fairly diversified” economy, while its human resources and state apparatus “operated in a way that perhaps does not exist in many developing countries”.

Unal was talking to Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of a panel on green industrialization in Turkey, jointly organized by UNCTAD and Istanbul Kadir Has University.

This was the first in a series of events planned under the UNCTAD project “Integrated Policy Strategies and Regional Policy Coordination for Resilient, Green and Transformative Development” which will also be held in Pakistan, Kazakhstan and in Malaysia.

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

“When green comes to mind, the agriculture sector responds to issues of sustainability and food security that are very topical and contemporary right now,” she said.

Development “must be green”, said the UN economist.

“Political will needed for green industrialization”

By diverting just 2.5% of their GDP to green investments, UN member countries could create jobs for their people, UNAL pointed out.

“What is missing in this picture are political will and integrated policies, long-term sustainable policies,” she noted, adding that the UNCTAD initiative would also lead to regional discussions on the exchange of knowledge to show that green industrialization is possible.

Robert Pollin, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in the United States, said Anadolu Agency that Turkey should “invest in raising efficiency standards and increasing public transport, taking cars off the road”.

Investments in electric heating and air conditioning are also “relatively inexpensive”, he added.

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

He suggested that Turkey should strive to “substitute imported fossil fuels for domestic green energy”.

To achieve green industrialization, Pollin told the panel that “mobilizing existing institutions” would be essential for more effective policies.

Referring to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Pollin said their efforts will also lead to policies aimed at achieving sustainability goals.

Cooperation between countries

Safdar Sohail of Pakistan’s National Institute of Public Policy said Turkey and Pakistan could “help each other and learn from each other in the field of technology” when it comes to industrialization green.

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

“Both countries are doing some interesting things in greening their economy such as the collaboration between the two countries in public transport facilities,” he said, citing the Lahore public metro line which was built by a Turkish company, for 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 developing countries, the Pakistani expert urged countries to use “cleaner technologies for production”.

In a context of “hyper globalization”, he told the panel, the “practice of development” is much more necessary at the international level before it can be needed at the regional level.

Sharon P. Juarez