By investing in renewable energy rather than continuing to rely on fossil fuels, Turkey could create more than 300,000 new jobs by 2030, according to a recently released United Nations report.
Turkey could reap huge economic benefits by shifting new investments from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, according to a joint analysis released Tuesday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Turkey could increase its GDP by up to $8 billion per year, create more than 300,000 new jobs by 2030 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% compared to 2019 levels, all while investing in renewable energy rather than continuing to rely on fossil fuels. , says the report.
Entitled “Employment and social impacts of climate change and green economy policies in Turkey”, the study indicates that investing in wind and solar energy to meet future energy needs would thus bring not only environmental benefits , but also solid economic advantages, in terms of growth and employment. creation and the balance of trade.
“Discussions on climate policy tend to focus on costs, suggesting that there is a trade-off between protecting the planet and saving the economy,” said Louisa Vinton, UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey. .
Calling green energy “a win-win scenario”, Vinton said that is why the country’s leaders have the opportunity to take more ambitious action in this regard.
For his part, Numan Özcan, director of the ILO office in Turkey, said that climate activism will only work if a just transition can be ensured.
“In our view, the green economy could be the model Turkey needs to achieve its vision of high-income prosperity,” he said, adding that accelerating green and low-emissions policies carbon could also address the challenges that the Turkish economy is currently facing. focused towards.
To conduct the study, an independent research company based in Norway, SINTEF, used a macroeconomic simulation called the “green jobs valuation model”, which was developed for the ILO and has so far been applied in 15 countries, according to the report.
For the report, the simulation compared a “business as usual” scenario for Turkey with a “green” scenario to uncover the potential outcomes of transitioning all new energy investments from fossil fuels to renewables like solar. and wind turbine.
Range of positive results
In addition to significant numerical employment gains, going green would produce a range of other positive outcomes, according to the report.
He pointed out that the job gains would be widespread, benefiting all but three of Turkey’s 66 different economic sectors.
Renewable energy would create greater demand for better jobs, requiring investment in skills, he added. Since green energy is cheaper, renewables would bypass funding for areas such as energy efficiency, he noted.
Investing in renewable energy would increase demand for Turkish products and services, the report said, adding that diversification would make Turkey’s power system more resilient to weather and price shocks.
The fossil fuel industry is the main loser from the process, requiring preparations for a “just transition” for workers in the sector, the report notes. To ease the transition, the analysis recommends modernizing technical and vocational education systems to provide the new skills required for renewable technologies.
Welfare systems will also need to be fine-tuned to move labor from declining industries like coal to new ones. To secure the financing of these measures, the study proposes creating a “just transition fund” which could be financed by a tax on carbon-intensive households.