December 5, 2019

24 Turkish Local Authorities say “We are in” on the Paris Climate Agreement

  • Twenty-four cities, including 3 of 5 biggest metropolis in Turkey, announced “Cities for Climate Action” declaration, said “we are in” on Paris Agreement and committed to the 1.5°C Goal.
  • This is the first official pledge by elected authorities on the Paris Agreement in Turkey.
  • The signatories represent roughly %25 of Turkey’s population – almost 17 million people.
  • They also send a strong signal to delegates negotiating the implementation of the Paris Agreement in UN Climate Conference – COP25

5 December 2019, Istanbul – Representatives of 24 municipalities assembled in pursuit of climate action this week declared their intent to pursue limiting global warming to 1.5°C by 2030. The 3-day long workshop was organized with the support of Bosporus University, 350 Turkey and Local Monitoring Research and Implementation Association.

Declaring their pledge for ambitious climate action, Adana Metropolitan Mayor Zeydan Karalar also underlined cities’ role in the current crisis. He emphasized that they consume 75% of natural resources and account for 70% of carbon dioxide emissions globally. The Cities for Climate Action Declaration also highlights that for a fair, equitable and sustainable future, local leaders should take concrete steps against the climate crisis.

Representatives from 24 local administrations were also present alongside Karalar during the press conference.

Mayor Utku Gumrukcu of Cigli and Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep Metropolitan City and President of the Turkish Union of Municipalities, participated in the opening of the workshop. Şahin said “the most significant problem lies in the implementation of international agreements. We observe that our minds are not ready, but we need to start taking action immediately as it is a crisis now.”

A historic moment for climate action in Turkey

The declaration has historical importance as it is the first time that Turkish elected officials pledge for the Paris Agreement. They send a strong signal to Turkish society about the necessity of climate action and commit to fulfilling their responsibility to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030. Turkey Campaigner, Efe Baysal said, “This declaration reflects the concerns of the people about the climate crisis, as well as their appetite for action to solve it. It is an invaluable first step for our cities to come to terms with the effects of climate change, as well as confront their responsibility in causing it. We hope that this declaration will be backed by concrete action in the months to come.”

The declaration proves that local Turkish administrations also acknowledge the climate emergency and feel obligated to take concrete actions. Many economic, environmental and social issues are deepening in Turkish cities as climate disasters are increasing day by day. The crisis rates high among the concerns of Turkey’s population with 61% of the society worried by the climate crisis.

The mayors also announced that they would;

  • Prepare Climate Action Plans to reduce carbon emissions and take measurements to adapt to climate change, using the latest scientific information and following international standards,
  • Prioritize sustainable transportation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture practices in cities,
  • Work together with, and support and collaborate with local, national and international institutions, entrepreneurs, co-ops and civil society for climate action,
  • Prioritize readiness and preparedness for locked in climate change effects in urban planning and zone planning processes to protect urbanites and infrastructures.

Notes to the editor:

  • For event photos and videos, click here 
  • For full text of the declaration, click here
  • Signatories:
    • Adana Metropolitan Municipality
    • Ankara Metropolitan Municipality
    • Aydın Metropolitan Municipality
    • Bursa Metropolitan Municipality
    • Erzurum Metropolitan Municipality
    • İzmir Metropolitan Municipality
    • Bolu Municipality
    • Edirne Municipality
    • Rize Municipality
    • Tunceli Municipality
    • Acıpayam Municipality (Denizli)
    • Tepebaşı Municipality (Eskişehir)
    • Avcılar Municipality (İstanbul)
    • Bağcılar Municipality (İstanbul)
    • Beşiktaş Municipality (İstanbul)
    • Kadıköy Municipality (İstanbul)
    • Sarıyer Municipality (İstanbul)
    • Sultanbeyli Municipality (İstanbul)
    • Bornova Municipality (İzmir)
    • Çiğli Municipality (İzmir)
    • Karşıyaka Municipality (İzmir)
    • Fethiye Municipality (Muğla)
    • Bodrum Municipality (Muğla)
    • Çerkezköy Municipality (Tekirdağ)