VII. Susutainable Finance Forum

Event Date: 23.02.2021

The 7th of the Sustainable Finance Forum organized since 2013 was held virtually on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. Mehmet Ali Akben, Chairman of the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency , made the opening speech of the 7th Sustainable Finance Forum organized by BCSD Turkey with the title "Green Transition and Efficiency in Turkey". In the forum, the launch of the appeal of Transition to Turkey’s Low Carbon and Circular Economy in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
 
SKD Turkey Chairman Ebru Dildar Edin stated: "We are determined to support all sectors in Turkey in efforts to adopt the transformative economy as a guider model in recovering after the pandemic, building economy and providing sustainable economic growth". Dildar Edin invited the business world to join the appeal for a low carbon and circular economic recovery.
 
"The 7th Sustainable Finance Forum was performed virtually as titled ''Green Transition and Efficiency in Turkey" by '"BCSD Turkey''. The forum has been organized under the sponsorhip of Garanti BBVA, Şekerbank, Developmnet Investment Bank Of Turkey and Türkiye Sınai Kalkınma Bankası (TSKB) moderated by SKD Turkey Board Member, Aybala Şimşek this year. The business world has been invited to join the 6-point appeal for a low carbon and circular economic recovery in the forum where Turkey's Transition Appeal to Low Carbon and Circular Economy has been performed as well.
 
Mehmet Ali Akben: "Turkish banking sector demonstrates its precursor attitude in the sustainability field as well”
The chairman of BRSA Mehmet Ali Akben, who made the opening speech of the forum, spoke: “In the process leading to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, I fully believe that the 2020s, which we expect to be a "10 year of action" at the global level, will be an exciting period for the Turkish financial sector, full of good practices that will set an example to the whole world. As BRSA,  without making a compromise our cautionary perspective based on effective risk management in the market mechanism, we are ready to expedite and accompany this process. The Turkish banking sector demonstrates its pioneering and innovative attitude in many areas, also in the "sustainability". We observe that the banking sector seizes the initiative in the sustainable finance sector, and there are many good implementation examples in both risk management and resource allocation. Especially, as of the begining of 2010s, our some banks have developed strategies and policies in the environmental and social sustainable fields, formed a corporate capacity, and started periodic reports.”
 
Ebru Dildar Edin: “The financial sector possesses a transformative power”
SKD Turkey Board Member Ebru Dildar Edin, who was a speaker at the forum, stated: "We are determined to support all sectors in Turkey in efforts to adopt the transformative economy as a guider model in recovering after the pandemic, building economy and providing sustainable economic growth".
Edin continued her speech by paying attention to the transformative power of the finacial sector to close the financial deficit that is mandatory in the green transformation: "According to the Circularity Gap Report 202 published at Davos this year, increasing of the circularity rate of the world to 17% is required to keep global warming below 2 ° C and to reduce the devastating effects of climate change. Our appeal in cooperation with SKD Turkey and EBRD is an action invitation to adopt the circular economy for a sustainable and green recovery after the pandemic and more effective use of the offered devices in the Turkey Cyclic Economy Platform."
Edin: "Economic plans are established on green recovery beside the pandemic"
Edin continued her speech by reminding that many governments had started to build their economic development plans on "Green Recovery" by cooperating with the public and private sectors during the pandemic: 
"Europe announced that it would become the first carbon neutral continent in 2050 by determining the "Green Consensus" as a road map. To achieve this goal, it is required to increase the use of renewable energy twice the year 2020 every year.
Transformation and change has become crucial for a financial life struggle beside creating a good image for companies. Companies including the climate crises into their strategies and establishing durable resistance against risks will stay one step ahead in the competition. Stronger climate policies and actions are required for a stable green transformation. Our current appeal is incredibly essential in terms of guiding companies in this aspect."
 
Arvid Tuerkner: "It is time to take responsibility, operate and do better"
Turkey General Manager of the EBRD's Arvid Tuerkner, said in his speech at the forum:
Arvid Tuerkner, who is the General Manager for Turkey at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), mentioned in his speech at the forum that: "EBRD is commited to be an example by leading enterprises that are ready for circular transformation by carrying out the new Green Economy Transition approach. We are at a critical time for companies, SMEs, financial institutions only by implementing a low carbon, cyclic model to make choices ensuring economic recovery.
As the Turkey Cyclic Economy Platform, we are proud to perform the launch of the Appeal of Transition to Turkey's Low Carbon and Circular Economy by inviting all Turkish business world and decision makers to a cyclical transformation. It is already time to take responsibility, operate and do better. ”
 
Aybala Şimşek: "There is no vaccine for the climate crisis"
After the speeches, the "Green Transformation and Increasing of Turkey's Shares at Green Transformation" panel was held in SKD Turkey Board Member Aybala Şimşek's moderation. 
Aybala Şimşek started her speech by citing Bill Gates' statement on the climate crisis last week "ending COVID-19 easier than solving climate change". There is a vaccine for COVID-19, but there is no vaccine for the climate change. Because during the pandemic, problems related to the climate changes have become more visible and social inequalities have revealed more in almost every country in the world".
Vigeo Eiris Sustainable Finance Business Development Manager Benjamin Cliquet, T.R. Ministry of Commerce, International Agreements and EU General Directorate, Mehmet Ergünal, Head of Single Market, Competition and Technical Legislation Department, T.R. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for EU Affairs, Nihal Samsun Karabacak, Head of Economic, Financial and Social Policies Department, and ABN Amro Bank, Sustainability Consultant Jan Raes participated.
 
The following common views were discussed in the panel:
 
“Circular economy and all sustainable social and environmental topics offer a very critical potential for Turkey's sustainable growth to reach new resources in terms of alternative debt instruments. Many projects to benefit from these resources started being implemented in Turkey. Studies in the green taxonomy field in our country also constitutes a strong base for new sustainable borrowing instruments developing in  both for the real sector and the financial sector.
The adaptation process about the Green Consensus, announced by the EU as the new growth strategy, and the green transition which is on the world's front burner, ensure an important opportunity to benefit from chances and access to alternative resources in the coming period in Turkey. 
The Green Consensus process should be a mobilization that needs to be considered in an inclusive way. In addition to the harmony of all sectors, equality of opportunity is also very essential. It is also connected to Turkey's growing potential of the domestic market as well as global trade with central location and human resources. According to the report published by the OECD, if sustainable development principles are applied, possible employment growth will be of 1.4% in Turkey. 
Cooperation between NGOs and the public on transition will establish a dowel action for the business world. The future must be green, digital and overarching for a competitive economy "
 
The Appeal of Transition to Turkey's Low Carbon and Circular Economy. The 6 items of the appeal, which is about inviting all the business world to participate in, listed below: 
1. committing to zero-waste principles and circular economy strategies
2. increasing awareness on their level of circularity through available metrics and systems. 
3. driving the circular transformation of Turkey as a country
4. becoming part of the TCEP ecosystem for knowledge-sharing and strengthening partnerships. 
5. increasing the availability of innovative financing products supporting the circular economy. 
6. favouring the wide adoption of the EU Categorisation for circular economy,