More steps should be taken to achieve green transformation, a process which does not impose a burden but in fact creates opportunities, the top EU diplomat in Turkey said on Thursday.
“The cost of doing nothing is higher than the cost of doing this transformation. The natural disasters we have (recently) seen make us understand this,” Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, said at a meeting in Turkey’s southwestern Mugla province.
The green transformation will create new employment environments and enable future generations to live better, and healthier lives, he said.
Stressing that the green transformation process is challenging, he said it requires a human-centered approach, including citizens, cities, and businesses.
He also voiced happiness over Turkey recently signing the Paris Climate Agreement. This was “a very important step” and it is a process that requires commitment from now on, he added.
The Paris Agreement is set to enter into force for Turkey on Nov. 10, following its ratification on Oct. 7.
Parliament ratified the agreement following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement last month at the UN General Assembly that Turkey would adopt net zero emissions by 2053.
- EU to cut carbon emissions by 2030
Telling how the EU seeks to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 and to be carbon neutral by the 2050s, Meyer-Landrut said: "To achieve a good result in 2050, it is necessary to take action today. The effects of the steps taken will emerge over time, but steps must be taken now.”
On a new project in Mugla using alternative clean energies in local canals, he said the project will reduce the use of diesel engines in boats.
If the project succeeds, Turkish authorities may want to spread it to other areas, and this project may be a pilot project, he said.
“I believe that if we work together, we will be successful and set an example for other places in Turkey,” he added.
Panayotis Zacharioudakis, a project specialist at the EU Delegation, said the project aims to reduce the use of diesel fuel, to reduce the oil spilled into canals and streams, and to minimize the fumes from diesel engines.
Stressing that the new generation of travelers values nature-friendly tourism, Zacharioudakis said that solar- and electric-powered excursion boats will provide a significant income boost to both boat owners and businesses in the surrounding area.
He said next-generation green energy boats will be used in Mugla’s canals in Dalyan and Akyaka, which will increase both the service quality and the income of stakeholders.