Globalisation, Cleaner Energy and Mega-Cities: Options and Messages for Turkey




Yeni Küresel Merkez Türkiye Konferansı






24 January 2011

The Bosphorus Summit



Tectonic changes are occurring not only in the world financial system, trading and investment, energy, geopolitics, and technology; a fundamental transformation is also underway in the way the cities have been managed and regenerated, creating profound implications for mega-cities such as Istanbul. The global population is congregating in our cities. Eighty per cent of the world’s estimated nine billion people in 2050 are expected to live in urban areas. Our cities and urban areas face many challenges from social to health to environmental. The impacts of cities and urban areas are felt in other regions which supply cities with food, water and energy and absorb pollution and waste. However, the proximity of people, businesses and services associated with the very word ‘city’ means that there are also huge opportunities. Indeed, well designed, well managed urban settings offer a key opportunity for sustainable living.


Myriad trends indicate that the current world energy system is far from being sustainable. It will be shaped by rising demand over the long term, dominance of fossil fuels, inaccessible supplies, price volatility, inadequate investment, geopolitical tensions, and climate change. The most pressing decision facing the next generation may be how best to accelerate the transition from a fossil-fuel-based energy system to a system based on climate-friendly energy alternatives. Turkey has emerged as an important actor to reckon with as a consumer, transporter, investor, regional hub, and security provider in world energy and geopolitics. Likewise, Istanbul as a global city and gateway to the world’s major producers and consumers offers so much opportunities for energy investment, conservation, efficiency, distribution and shipment. It also faces serious energy-related challenges including from climate change, congestion, power black-outs, and local pollution.