Gloria Shkurti Özdemir, Insight Turkey
İzzet Arı, Ankara Sosyal Bilimler Üniversitesi
Onur Kolçak, Araştırma ve Politika Danışmanı
Büşra Zeynep Özdemir, SETA
Bilal Bağış, Sabancı Üniversitesi
İzzet Arı started his speech by reminding us that climate change is not a new issue. He stated that in recent years, the issue of climate change has been discussed under the title of 'climate crisis'. In this context, there are 3 critical legal texts created on the basis of multilateralism under the umbrella of the United Nations. These are: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement. The most up-to-date of these international studies is the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 and entered into force in 2016. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was opened for signature in 1992 and is a higher-level document than the other two texts. Arı claims that the main purpose of the United Nations is to minimize climate change and stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations. In addition to international studies, the author argues that nations have a very important task individually and that they should consider all their activities on climate change by taking into account their own national conditions.
İzzet Arı continues his speech by arguing that climate change does not only pose an environmental problem, but also deals with issues of economy, development, trade and competition. As an example, he gave the European Union's putting forward a ‘Carbon Regulation at the Border’ while updating its Emission Commitments under the name of the Green Agreement in 2021. In other words, it would be inevitable to impose a limitation on the carbon tax in certain sectors that will import to the European Union. According to Arı, in an environment where such economic concerns come into play, the global targets set by the Paris Agreement unfortunately do not provide enough coverage and it is clear that they do not reach sufficiency in the fight against climate change. Pointing out that Türkiye has made a significant contribution to global studies in recent years and that it has targeted a net zero emission rate by 2053, the panelist concludes his speech by emphasizing the importance of Türkiye in the fight against climate change.
After the general framework drawn by İzzet Arı, our other speaker Onur Kolçak focused on 3 countries that stand out in the international arena on climate change. He focuses on the U.S. (the world's largest, high-income economy, which is a free market with minimal government interference), Russia (an upper-middle income emerging market and advancing economy, structured as a centrally planned economy with government interference), and China (the world's second-largest economy with significant levels of state ownership and a centrally planned economy). Kolçak argues that the different characteristics and differences in the development level of these three states provide good examples for understanding what plays a role in creating and adopting policies for environmental sustainability.
Since economic competition is very important globally and because of the breakthroughs made by the big countries since the Industrial Revolution, they have developed a lot and become more than self-sufficient in feeding their own people, however, this does not hinder them from competing with other countries. None of these 3 countries find it logical to abandon competition and implement more sustainable and environmentalist policies. The inability to give up competition also constitutes a major obstacle for our world in its targets to take precautions against climate change. According to our panelist, we have a chance to significantly reduce climate change and carbon emissions by putting competition aside, increasing efficiency, and advancing technology.
Büşra Zeynep Özdemir
The third panelist, Büşra Zeynep Özdemir, talks about energy policies in Türkiye, which have an important place in climate change. According to Özdemir, energy-related emissions are one of the main reasons for the emergence of global warming and climate change. Therefore, she argues that energy policies and the energy sector's fight against climate change and global warming are issues that must be addressed. When analyzing Türkiye, it can be concluded that due to Türkiye being a developing country, its share of emissions has historically been very low and therefore it does not share the same amount of responsibility for the current climate change crisis. Özdemir, however, claims that Türkiye is pushing its resources by doing its best both to increase its energy security and to contribute to the efforts to combat global climate change.
The fact that Türkiye has limited resources in terms of oil and natural gas, which have been the most consumed energy resources until recently, causes it to be a foreign-dependent country in terms of energy, while it has a very low rate in terms of emission production created by these resources. The biggest source of emission generation in Türkiye originates from energy production. Özdemir argues that the responsibility that Türkiye should take in the fight against climate change is to significantly reduce emissions in electricity generation, and that Türkiye has taken the necessary steps in this direction. The most concrete and successful example of these is the conversion of electric energy installed power. Emphasizing that the fight against climate change is very important, Özdemir concludes her speech by claiming that while increasing the share of renewable resources in this process, countries are responsible for ensuring energy supply security for sustainability and economic growth.
The last panelist, Bilal Bağış discusses the potential short-term and long-term impacts of the Ukraine war especially in terms of the food market. His speech provides a critical analysis of the food market dynamics, underlines factors affecting supply and demand, and provides insight into expectations regarding the future, including the impacts of the temporary suspension of the grain deal in the fall of 2022.
Food shortages and food inflation are surging around the world. Therefore, currently, we are in a different era where the political and strategic importance of food and grain markets is increasing but at the same time, the danger of mass starvation is looming closer than ever before. The current food crisis and the inflationary trend are meanwhile directly related to rising inequalities around the world. The war in Ukraine, the global food crisis, rising commodity prices, and soaring energy costs have all been contributing to this recent volatile trend.
In his conclusion, Bilal Bağış analyzes the ongoing food crisis, the most recent food inflation challenge, and most importantly the recent Black Sea Grain Initiative, or the grain export deal. It discusses the potential short-term and long-term impacts of these recent developments on the food market, in particular. The speech given by Bilal Bağış provides a critical analysis of the food market dynamics, underlines factors affecting supply and demand, analyzes the data, and provides insight into expectations regarding the future including the impacts of the temporary suspension of the deal in the Fall of 2022.
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.