The latest episode of FeniksPod’s Turkey Series welcomed Gokce Sencan, a climate and water policy researcher based in California.
Sencan is a member of Turkey’s democratic socialist Ivme Movement and an author of its latest report entitled “A Just and Green Transition against the Climate Crisis: Policy Recommendations for Turkey”.
Co-authored by Sencan, Anil Kemal Aktas, and Firat Akova, the report “is a calculation of the policy solutions that were already crafted by the other members of the academic community. We came up with the best ideas which Turkey can implement to counter climate change,” Sencan said.
Sencan explained that Turkey must make its way to de-carbonization as soon as possible by making strong and appropriate investments in its infrastructure, technologies, agriculture, and water management, among other areas.
“We have concluded that these [investments] are all achievable and economically feasible for Turkey. Contrary to popular belief, it would not be an economic burden; quite the opposite, Turkey could build an economic development plan in a fair and just manner,” Sencan continued.
Sencan pointed to Turkey’s reliance on fossil fuels — particularly coal — for its energy production as a significant source of pollution and environmental degradation.
“There are many risks related to climate change that are also threats to Turkey’s agriculture. The government should heavily invest in climate resilient agricultural efforts and help farmers financially,” Sencan remarked while commenting on the country’s suffering agriculture sector.
Sencan also argued that Turkey’s most recent environmental disasters, including wild fires and floods, will likely worsen over the next few years if the government doesn’t adopt comprehensive climate change policies.
Last summer’s fires and floods killed dozens and injured hundreds; but tens of thousands of livestock and wild animals also perished, not to mention the destruction of homes and vast swathes of forests and farmland.
“Citizens should push their governments to be better advocates of climate policies that would benefit not only the citizens themselves but also mother nature and the health of the earth,” Sencan said, calling on everyone to urge their government to craft and adopt policies for a green transition.