The Future of our World Discussed at the 4th Istanbul Carbon Summit
May 01, 2017

At the 4th Istanbul Carbon Summit, hosted by our university, scientists and business leaders gathered together to express ways to combat climate change.

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The 4th Istanbul Carbon Summit, organized by the Sustainable Production and Consumption Association (SPCA), hosted by our university and supported by the International Emissions Trading Association, took place on April 26th. The summit, organized at the Ayazağa Campus, was attended by representatives and young people from public sector, local administrations, academic circles, the business world and non-governmental organizations; views on carbon management, carbon financing and Turkey's way to combat climate change were exchanged. At the summit, 19 organizations who support the fight against climate change by reducing their carbon footprint were presented with "Low Carbon Hero" awards by the Sustainable Production and Consumption Association (SPCA).

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Delivering the opening speech of the Summit, ITU Department of Chemical Engineering faculty and SPCA President, Prof. Dr. Filiz Karaosmanoğlu, stated that as a “green-collar” association, they have been conducting studies on climate change since the day they were founded. Our faculty member noted that, for the past three years, the Association has been awarding projects that have succeeded in reducing carbon emissions, stating: “we award organizations who are stingy with carbon production and generous with environmental awareness, the "Low Carbon Hero" award. Not only do we value the success of our industrial enterprises in achieving greenhouse gas reduction, but we also care about our children gaining a culture of sustainable living.”

Dr. Ender Aykut Yılmaz: “sustainable cities provide economic growth.”

Speaking at the session titled "The Paris Treaty and its Aftermath", Ilbank Assistant General Manager Dr. Ender Aykut Yılmaz emphasized that cities play an important role in the economic growth of countries and emphasized that this is directly proportional to the number of environmentally, socially and economically correct and sustainable cities. Yılmaz emphasized that the right choices in city management and project financing by local governments leads to the strengthening of countries and that the energy saving potential in the public sector had reached 32 percent. Lastly, he said that our country should agree on a financing model and be able to save about half a billion dollars each year by bringing planned energy efficiency projects to life.

Dr. Adonai Herrera-Martinez: "Turkey is taking steps to strengthen its energy policy.”

Another guest at the 4th Carbon Summit, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Deputy Director of Energy Efficiency and Climate Change, Adonai Herrera-Martinez assessed Turkey's position in this area. Martinez said that Turkey has made significant progress in strengthening its energy policies, notably in the low-carbon economy transition, with the national renewable energy action plan and national energy efficiency action plans coming to the forefront. Stating that EBRD has invested a total of 9 billion euros in Turkey to date, Martinez concluded by saying that the institution has a green bond portfolio and that many projects for sustainable energy are coming to life.

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Evrim Yangın Gül: “TSKB is focusing on renewable energy projects.”

Speaking at the Summit, Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) Engineering and Technical Consultancy Manager Evrim Yangın Gül stated that the TSKB is the first bank to export "Capital Equivalent Sustainable Bonds" in the world. Stating that these 300 million dollar bonds are an important indicator of the quadruple demand in international markets, Gül said that, as a bank that focuses on renewable energy projects, having 57% of its portfolio consist of sustainable investment projects including renewable energy, energy and resource efficiency and environmental projects was an important measure of success.

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Dr. Oğuz Can: “Renewable Energy will reduce our foreign dependence.”

Another participant in the event was Director General of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Dr. Oğuz Can. Noting that Turkey will significantly reduce the use of outsourced resources by focusing on domestic and renewable energy use, Can stated that renewable energy will be effective in transitioning to the low carbon economy. Our guest, who reminded us that, as the Ministry, they have prepared the Energy Efficiency National Action Plan, and that the hydrogen lab will be available to everyone in June. Referring to the need for Turkey to take advantage of biomass and biogas, Dr. Can emphasized that the developments in this technology should be analyzed very well. Dr. Oğuz Can concluded his speech with the following words: "our Boron Institute is also doing important work in this regard. We need to increase Boron’s usage areas."

Mehrali Ecer, the President of the Climate Department of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, who came to the chair after Dr. Can started his talk by saying that, on average, the global temperature in the world has increased by 1 degree. Noting that carbon pricing is on the world’s agenda, whereby the polluter assumes a part of the cost of carbon emissions, Ecer pointed out that there are new developments in the carbon market around the world. Ecer explained the steps they are taking as a Ministry, with these trends in mind.