Soon I am leaving my post at GTE Carbon, a leading Turkish carbon management & climate services company, where developed and coordinated externally funded project activities and provided consultancy services. As I am coming to the end of my term here, I would like to reflect upon two important projects I was involved in, both related with climate change adaptation and resilience.

The first one is the World Bank GFDRR funded “High-level Critical Infrastructure Climate and Seismic Risk Assessment in the Region of Cukurova, Turkey”. Within the context of this first of its kind project, we have been assessing risks posed by climatic and seismic hazards, including changes in normal patterns triggered by climate change, for the energy and transport / logistics sectors. Key steps of the project are as follows:

  1. Developing a pragmatic approach for critical infrastructure risk assessment and management,
  2. Improving the planning process by providing policy recommendations for risk management,
  3. Suggesting next steps for action and to share existing best practices.

I have learned so much about practicalities of climate resilience and adaptation in urban and rural settings, while contributing in the project throughout different project phases. I am sure the project will constitute a good case for Turkish actors and trigger new project initiatives. The project is critical from two aspects. First, Turkey is prone to significant disaster risks some of which are exacerbated by climate change (like floods). According to GFDRR-supported analysis, a high-impact flood could made a negative impact on approx. 3 million people, causing capital losses equal to %3 of GDP. Second, Turkey, as the world’s largest refugee-hosting country, should strategically plan and take measures about building resilience of these communities who live in disaster prone areas.

The other project is EBRD funded “Climate Resilience in the Power Sector: Turkey – Risk Assessment and Investment Needs”. The project aims to:

  1. Understand and quantify the potential impacts of climate change on the power generation and transmission assets in Turkey and,
  2. Provide an initial assessment of the most technically-robust and economically-viable adaptation solutions.

This project is also first of its kind and important from multiple aspects, too. as climate change pose growing challenges (growing demand, decreasing output, shocks on systems, etc) to the energy generation and transmission systems all over the world, the Mediterranean region, where Turkey is located, particularly exposed to such impacts. Effective adaptation measures and investments are needed in the country. As the consultant consortium, we started to undertake following tasks (as indicated at the ToR):

  1. Country Level Assessment – (i) Review and identify the potential high-level impact of climate change and associated shifts in mean and peak climatic conditions on the power sector (both generation and transmission), (ii) Develop and pilot a methodology for calculating water consumption by energy generation facilities that will enable meaningful comparisons and the establishment of benchmarks at both the facility-level and country-level; and (iii) Prepare a high-level action-plan for mitigating the potential impacts, in terms of technologies available.
  2. Preparation Case Studies – (i) Review and identify the potential impact of climate change on a number of specific power plant, energy storage or transmission assets in terms of type and probability of disruptions, gradual loss of capacity and efficiency due to rising temperatures and water stress, risk of out of services, etc.; and (ii) For each facility, prepare a priority investment plan of technically available and economically viable retrofit solutions which could help reduce the potential impact of climate change on the asset.
  3. National Workshop – Organise and manage a national workshop in Turkey for disseminating the findings of the assignment. It is anticipated that the workshop will target all the major stakeholders of the power sector in the country, policymakers, regulators, operators and others to facilitate a broader application of the developed tools and methodologies and initiate a proactive discussion on risks, priorities, suitable technologies and implementation/financing approaches for mitigating the anticipated impacts of climate change.

While I am not able to see “the end” of both projects, I feel privileged for having chance to work both on them with respected colleagues/institutions. Climate change adaptation and resilience are areas that have been overlooked till recent years but the trend is changing rapidly. Turkey has started to understand the importance of adaptation and resilience and I am glad to put my energy on some of the pioneer efforts.