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Twenty-three academics from various universities in Turkey called on the government to turn away from coal production, primarily due to its effect on climate change, at a conference in Istanbul on Wednesday.
and”Producing nearly half of the global greenhouse gas emissions and three-quarters of the emissions sourced from electric and heat production, coal is the primary factor in climate change,and” said the academics in their statement. and”Turkeyand’s energy policies are centered around coal, and the state sponsors the building of new coal energy plants with incentives,and” the academics said, adding that coal production is harmful to the environment and to public health. and”Policies geared toward increasing the share of coal in Turkeyand’s energy production, extracting greater amounts of lignite coal and raising coal imports need to be changed. New coal power plants must not be built. Licenses being granted to new coal-based thermal power plants should be cancelled and new licenses should not be given,and” the statement continued.
and”Health problems stemming from polluted air created by coal-based thermal power plants should be researched and the required health precautions need to be made. Incentives given for coal production by the state need to be taken off the table as soon as possible,and” said the academics, adding that the coal mining sector yielded poor results in terms of production and employment, and that focusing on renewable energy sources could have the potential to bolster employment. Those making the collective call for change included academics from prominent universities in the cities of Istanbul, izmir, Bursa, Adana and Ankara. Studies have shown that the pollution resulting from the coal production process costs billions of dollars in healthcare expenditures in Turkey annually, as it boosts rates of respiratory and heart disease, yet Turkey continues to be one of the worldand’s investors in coal.
Mining accidents are common in Turkey, which is plagued by poor safety conditions. In general, coal mining is responsible for more fatalities than the production of any other energy source, due to poor working conditions in producing countries such as Turkey, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Colombia. On May 13 of last year, Turkey was shocked by an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Soma, a town in western Manisa province, that killed 301 workers and injured scores of others, Turkeyand’s deadliest jobsite accident to date. The fire triggered by the explosion rapidly depleted oxygen in the mineshaft, causing hundreds of miners to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Separately, 18 miners died after they were trapped in a mine in the district of Ermenek in Karaman province when it flooded on October of last year.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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