Turkey’s top business association calls for cooperation to achieve sustainable development
Turkey’s largest business organization has called on all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development goals in line with the United Nations’ 2030 agenda.
“The U.N. adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to alleviate poverty, to fight inequality and injustice and to overcome climate change by 2030… In order to be able to realize these global goals, there are key roles that need to be played by all stakeholders, from national authorities to local authorities, from non-governmental organizations to academics and businesspeople,” Metin Akman, a board member of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), said at a press meeting announcing the organization’s newly-released report on the fight against climate change from the perspective of economic policies.
Akman said the fight against climate change was one of the most challenging sustainable development goals, as this fight had no boundaries and covers many distinctive areas ranging from energy supplies to food security.
“The solution requires a radical transformation. Carbon emissions need to be slashed by 60 percent until 2050 through a number of key transformative steps,” he said, adding that Turkey should not be out of this process.
“One of the most crucial agenda items for Turkey will be to focus on climate change, in the near future, as the country is located in one of the regions most affected by climate change. We have already started seeing such effects, including drought and natural disasters. With this, the steps to adapt in our fight against climate change are as important as the measures to cut emissions,” he said, adding that complete cooperation was needed to fulfill these goals.
Conducting economic activities with an understanding that takes environmental concerns into consideration, constitutes one of TÜSİAD’s key working principles, the organization said.
“Based on this understanding, sustainable development and climate change mitigation have been endorsed by TÜSİAD as focus areas among others. Recent global developments, including the Paris Agreement in particular, have fuelled debates in Turkey regarding policy instruments for reducing emissions. With this study, TÜSİAD aims to address policy options for Turkey on the basis of relevant practices worldwide and to offer an economic impact analysis in possible areas,” the report’s preface stated.
The report added that enhancing the use of renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency would play the largest part in emissions reduction, as is the case with the rest of the world, and that the significant potentials embodied by these areas should be benefited from.
“In addition to this, the insurance and finance sectors, which are and will be directly affected by the present-day and future consequences of climate change, will have to take an appropriate position and be prepared in the face of these impacts,” it added.
Furthermore, enhancing Turkey’s measurement, monitoring and reporting capacity and reinforcing its transparency and accountability with regards to emissions and relevant policies were preconditions for the proper functioning of the implementation of instruments devised for emissions’ reduction policies, according to the report.
“Transition to a low-carbon economy not only entails greenhouse gas emissions reduction, but also involves other benefits that should also be taken into account. These additional benefits especially include the reduction of import dependency in energy, enhancement of energy safety, elimination of air pollution, and creation of new employment opportunities,” it added.