While historical tensions in the region have been exacerbated by the current energy crisis and competition for access to oil and gas reserves, there is both a need and an opportunity to build bridges and create synergies around a major common threat, as the region is recognised as one of the global hot spots of climate change impacts. At a workshop in May 2022, FES Athens brought together representatives of civic society from Greece and Turkey to test the water and facilitate the elaboration ideas on cooperation around combating climate change together. The results are promising as regards concrete ideas for further cooperation. In this policy paper, Pınar Sayan and Nikos Charlambides analyse the challenges and present concrete policy proposals for cooperation that could lead to a rapprochement between the two countries.
Nikos Charalambides has been active in civil society for nearly 40 years. He is engaged in tackling climate change issues, including advocacy and policy. His focus goes beyond energy, seeking solutions that increase social cohesion and alleviate injustice.
Pınar Sayan is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Beykoz University, Associate Fellow at the Istanbul Political Research Institute and a guest scholar at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. She takes part in civil society projects addressing conflict transformation, human rights and minority rights. Her research interests are ethnicity and nationalism in European politics, as well as the role of local and international actors in peace-building and conflict transformation.