ICI Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan: “The Green Deal Can Contribute to Sustainable Development”

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The opening ceremony of the "ECO CLIMATE Economy and Climate Change Summit and Fair" was organized jointly by Ankara Chamber of Industry (ACI) and Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ACC) at the ATO Congresium on 30-31 March 2022 to combat the climate change and to minimize the impact of climate change on the economy. Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, President of Union of Municipalities of Türkiye and Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Şahin, Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Mansur Yavaş, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu,Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan, Ankara Chamber of Industry (ACI) Chairman Nurettin Özdebir, Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ACC) Chairman Gürsel Baran, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) Chairman Şekib Avdagiç, Aegean Region Chamber of Industry (EBSO) Chairman Ender Yorgancılar and Gaziantep Chamber of Industry (GCI) Chairman Adnan Ünversi attended the summit.

ICI's Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan, ACI's Chairman Nurettin Özdebir, EBSO's Chairman Ender Yorgancılar, and GCI's Chairman Adnan Ünverdi attended as speakers at the "Green Transformation of Industry" session held on the second day of the summit and moderated by Sabah Newspaper Ankara Representative Okan Müderrisoğlu.

ICI's Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan

In his speech, ICI's Chairman Erdal Bahçıvan talked about ICI's vision on Green Transformation, Climate and Sustainability. Bahçıvan pointed out the severity of the situation: "There is no other World we can live in, and unfortunately, the world we live in is now on red alert" he said. "We are now witnessing this state of the world not only in the researches but also in climate crises, fires, floods and overflowing, which we now experience both in our country and in different parts of the world in a way we have never experienced before. It is very troubling to imagine where this situation would lead to in the future."

Bahçıvan pointed out Türkiye’s accession to the Paris Climate Agreement in 2021 and its net-zero emission target by 2053 as its most important steps taken, showing that Türkiye was not left out of the global deal. Bahçıvan also mentioned the importance of the Green Deal adopted by the European Union. He said, "In the next period, the institutions that do not comply with the deal will have no place in the future world. The European Green Deal could offer new opportunities for Türkiye as a means of transformation targeting sustainable development as well as presents risks for Türkiye. If the opportunities are considered correctly, Turkish industry could renew itself and contribute to the creation of resources and opening up to new markets in the new period.”

Nurettin Özdebir, the Chairman of ACI's Board of Directors, stated that climate change, climate injustice as well as the green economy, and climate refugees should be discussed. He added that over the years, developed countries have actually developed by using the world's resources and polluted the world to an extent that the world can no longer afford. "Underdeveloped and developing countries pay the price for this picture. The developed countries should give the greatest financial and technology support to green transformation processes" said Özdebir.

Adnan Ünverdi, the Chairman of the GCI's Board of Directors, on the other hand emphasized the importance of acting collectively on green transformation and sustainability. He said that if municipalities create green cities, chambers of commerce create green trade, and chambers of industry create a green industry, then they would be capable of handling the process very quickly.

And finally Ender Yorgancılar, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of EBSO, stated that the issue of green transformation and sustainability requires education, emphasizing the importance of education. Also noting the importance of university and industry cooperation, Yorgancılar said that if the needed flow of information from universities to the industry is not achieved, problems could arise in export in the years ahead.