Can a 'Green New Deal' Boost Turkey's Economy Too?


Image via Yeşil Ekonomi Konferansı.

With unemployment at 15.8 percent and the slow-down in the country's GDP estimated at more than 10 percent, the Turkish economy, like many others around the world, could use a shot in the arm. So why not make the medicine something that's good for the environment as well?This weekend, scientists, economists, academics, policymakers, and NGO activists are coming together in Istanbul to propose a "Green New Deal" for a country that never had a regular one. The Yeşil Ekonomi Konferansı (Green Economy Conference) being held June 20 to 21 at Istanbul Bilgi University's Dolapdere Campus was conceived by organizers at the Yeşil Politika Enstitüsü (Green Politics Institute) and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung Association as a way to explore ecofriendly routes out of the economic crisis.

Speakers on Saturday will evaluate the current global financial crisis and discuss how it ties into the ecologic crisis the world is simultaneously experiencing. Papers will also be presented on such topics as "Volunteer Simplicity and Comfort," "Egalitarianism as a Principle for the Distribution of Emission Rights," "The Environmental Impact of Household Consumption" in Turkey, and "Organic Agriculture in Turkey as a Solution for Environmental, Health and Economic Problems."

Sunday's program is scheduled as follows:

10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. -- What is a Green New Deal?

Speakers from the Green Economics Institute at Oxford University and Istanbul Technical University's management school

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. -- Paper presentations
Topics discussed will include a "Prescription to Reduce Carbon Footprint for Companies" and "Green Collar Workers in Turkey and in the World"

1:45 - 2:45 p.m. -- Lunch break

2:45 - 3:45 p.m. -- Paper presentations
Topics discussed will include "Sustainable Development," "Green Settlement Planning," and "Sectors that are Greening"

3:45 - 4:00 p.m. -- Break

4:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Green New Deal for the Solution of the Economic Crisis
Speakers from Turkish unions and the Turkish Green Party

"Increasing consumption, mobilization of savings and so speeding up economical mechanisms are the typical answer to every kind of economical recession," the organizers say on their website. "But there is something forgotten: This time the global economic crisis has a very dangerous twin, global ecological crisis."

Instead of adopting economic "fixes" that only deepen the environmental crisis, conference participants are looking for solutions that ease both crises. And who doesn't love a two-for-one deal, especially when times are tight?

More about environmental economics:
Focus on Focus Earth: The Green New Deal
Get Ready for a Green Jobs Explosion, New Study Says
Needed: Copernican Shift Toward A Global Eco-Economy
Why We Need to Reset Capitalism to Put the Environment at the Center
Book Review: The Green Collar Economy by Van Jones
Green Jobs Can Bail Out the Environment, Rebuild Communities: Worldwatch Institute

Tags: Economics | Green Jobs | Jobs | Turkey