It makes us proud to see successful Turks in the international arena. One of these success stories is Fatih Birol, Director of the France-based International Energy Agency. Founded in 1974, the agency is a well-established institution that shapes the world's energy policies. Climate change is among the three issues that President Biden gives utmost importance at the White House.
Fatih Birol spoke at the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources last week.
Stressing that energy and climate are extremely interdependent in his speech, Birol made suggestions to the US leadership in his speech. After his speech at the Senate, I had an opportunity to have a private conversation with Fatih Birol. Here are the essential notes from the conversation:
- We will work closely with the Biden administration,
- US decisions on energy and climate will affect the economy. This is very important for Turkey and other countries as well,
- We need a global effort and investments in clean energy transformation to reduce emissions,
- If Trump were elected, we would see poor results,
- The number of electric vehicles will increase,
- The importance of wind energy is increasing,
- Countries in the Middle East can suffer from social and economic turmoil. Because the demand for oil will decrease.
- Energy is the sector most affected by Covid-19. 5 million people have lost their jobs. Vaccination is essential for the recovery of this sector, but the process can extend to 2023.
- Turkey can be a pioneer in the Caucasus and the Middle East in renewable energy technologies,
- The natural gas sources in the Black Sea have great importance. Turkey needs to make use of the opportunities.
In addition, IEA Deputy Executive Director Dave Turk who closely worked with Mr. Fatih Birol recently appointed a Deputy Secretary of Energy.