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 enormous hydropower and wind potential compared to many developing countries,” said Fatma Gül Ünal, senior economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The country has a “quite diversified” economy, while its human resources and state apparatus “operate in a way that perhaps does not exist in many developing countries”, Ünal told Reuters on Thursday. Anadolu Agency (AA).
She was speaking on the sidelines of a panel on green industrialization in Turkey, jointly organized by UNCTAD and Istanbul’s 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,” Ünal said, adding that the country also has a significant amount of land. arable.
“When green comes to mind, the agricultural sector responds to issues of sustainability and food security, which is very current and contemporary at the moment,” she added.
Development “must be a green transition”, said the UN economist.
“Political will needed”
By diverting just 2.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to green investments, UN member countries could create jobs for their people, Ünal 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, told Anadolu Agency that Turkey should “invest in improving efficiency standards and increasing public transport, removing cars from the road”.
Investments in electric heating and cooling 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 the country 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 the key to 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.
Safdar Sohail of Pakistan’s National Institute of Public Policy said Turkey and Pakistan could “help each other and learn from each other in technology” when it comes to green industrialization.
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 collaboration between the two countries in public transport facilities,” he said, pointing to the public metro line in Lahore, a Pakistani city. of more than 11 million inhabitants, 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 the midst of “hyper globalization,” he told the panel, “development practice” is much more needed at the international level before it can be needed at the regional level.