Erman Akıllı, Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University
Elif Selin Çalık, Women in Smart Energy
Karim Elgendy, Chatham House
Izabela Lipinska, Poznan University
Elif Selin Çalık
Çalık started her speech by emphasizing the importance of the energy revolution and renewable technologies as part of the UN Sustainable Goals. This revolution will not only transform the world’s energy system, but it will also generate many employment opportunities, improve quality of life, and empower individuals. Hence, this initiative can be considered as contributing to social justice.
She addressed the impact of COP28 with regard to the energy revolution and renewable technologies. Çalık celebrated the fact that 127 countries signed the Global Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Pledge at COP28. The Pledge aims to triple the global renewable energy capacity and double global energy efficiency improvements by 2030. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge the obstacles faced by this endeavor, namely, the regional dynamics. The initiative on renewable energy requires every country to invest in clean energy and for most economically developed countries financial issues are not a problem. However, for less developed countries and fragile economies, this could be a hard task. Another issue is that certain regions may be more effective in producing clean energy than others. For instance, Çalık highlighted the case of the German company, Siemens Energy, opening a pilot factory for e-fuels in Patagonia, Argentina instead of Germany, due to its strategic location and regional effectiveness.
Finally, Çalık emphasized that we require technologies, as well as visionary leadership and financial resources, to facilitate the shift towards sustainable energy.
Lipinska addresses how Poland's government is dealing with the climate challenges and how it aligns with the EU’s climate policies. She acknowledges that the global nature of climate change necessitates coordinated efforts from the international community down to local governments. In terms of Poland’s policies, she highlighted that climate protection and adaptation are among the priorities of the new government in Poland, following elections in October. Accordingly, Poland has submitted its National Energy and Climate Plan for 2021-2030 to the European Commission, aligning with EU regulations. The plan outlines objectives in decarbonization, energy efficiency, energy security, the internal energy market, research, innovation, and competitiveness. Lipinska also identifies vulnerable sectors in Poland, including water management, legally protected areas, forestry, energy, and agriculture. The lack of a strategy for sustainable development is highlighted, by a call for a climate law to outline pathways to climate neutrality by 2050.
The final speaker, Karim Elgendy, addressed the limitations of multilateral negotiations behind the COP28 Summit. Elgendy claimed that while climate action has become slower, COP28 reveals that it is quite hard to get a consensus on any issue between 200 countries. This point reveals the limitation of trying to achieve multilateral agreement during the summit. Moreover, he pointed out that some developing countries will not have the same ambition, in terms of mitigation, as developed countries. Simply because developing countries are not as responsible, as the developed economies, for producing the emissions in the first place. Hence, they believe that they do not carry the same level of responsibility for taking restrictive measures. The argument goes that if the developed economies provide the finance and help with the technologies the developing economies will then do something about the mitigation or reducing emissions. To summarize, Elgendy found that there is a trend where, instead of producing commitments, COP just acts as a forum for making voluntary announcements.
Insight Turkey hopes that the panel was beneficial and provides a better understanding of this critical issue. You can find the full video of our panel on our YouTube channel.