This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Turkey Country Manager Barış Can Sever
One of the best climate practices implemented by a local NGO in Turkey was to support and train young people in working in renewable energy areas and fostering renewable energy initiatives and cooperatives. Green Thought Association conducted a project like this called “Reach for the Sun at Work!”.
The Association has been part of Turkey’s civil society since 2009. It aims to promote green thought and green policies, and advance green politics. The Association’s key areas of activities are (1) ecology and sustainability, (2) climate change and energy, (3) democracy and media, and (4) green economy. Accordingly, it organizes regular activities such as the Green Economy Conference, the Green Dialogue, and the Green Camp. Nine people in the association represent the core team, but the volunteer network of the Green Thought Association is quite large.
The Reach for the Sun at Work project was conducted between February 2016 and May 2017. Its main goal was to enhance entrepreneurship and employment prospects among youth in renewable energy fields. To do this, the Association organized seminars in technical schools. A pilot renewable energy center was established in Adatepe. Furthermore, workshop series were arranged to promote renewable energy cooperatives. A Renewable Energy Cooperatives Conference was held in Çanakkale, bringing together local, national, and international participants.
Yeditepe University, Eurosolar Turkey, Troy Youth Environmental Association, Adatepe Taşmektep Association, and Adatepe Neighborhood Mukhtar were the official supporters of Reach for the Sun at Work project. The project’s main impact was to encourage young people to pursue renewable energy areas in the job market and initiate their own enterprises.
We recommend that other local NGOs and relevant representatives from the public and private sector and academia cooperate in implementing similar projects that prioritize training young for work in the renewable energy sector. In this regard, energy democracy, gender equality, and socio-ecological conditions of the local peculiarity must be taken into account during these projects. Also, extending these initiatives into various localities and regions can scale-up positive environmental impacts throughout the country.
Süreyya Erkan, Director of EU and Financial Assistance in Human Resources Development Operating Structure
Bülent Özcan, Director-General for Financial Cooperation and Project Implementation at Directorate for EU Affairs