1st International Conference on Local Climate Action
Turkey’s 1st international conference on local climate action was held in Antalya, on 15-16 March 2019. Within the scope of Iklim-IN technical assistance project co-funded within the frame work of financial collaboration of EU and Turkey, the conference is organised in Antalya on 15-16 March 2019, with the participation of more than 200 attendees. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation.
A wide range of institutions covering state and non – state actors, local authorities, universities and NGO representatives attended the event. The main objectives of the conference were providing an assessment of current situation, recent international studies and developments following COP 24 regarding climate change at global level, elaboration of current climate change policies at local level, completed and ongoing efforts, review of applications on disaster management, low carbon transportation, cities and green infrastructure, energy and agriculture areas in the scope of local level combat with climate change, evaluations regarding the role of women, media and youth in participatory local policies and the importance of climate finance on climate action.
With these objectives of focus, opening remarks were made by Angel Gutierrez Hidalgo de Quintana Acting Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Turkey and Prof. Mehmet Emin Birpınar, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. Following the opening remarks, a panel titled “Climate Action from Global to Local” where he hosted Ovais Sarmad, UNFCCC, Deputy Executive Secretary and Dr. Shipra Narang Suri, Coordinator, Urban Planning and Design Branch, UN-Habitat. The conference continued with a key note speech on Local Climate Action Policies in the EU by European Enviornment Agency’s Mr. Jose Ramon Picatoste Ruggeroni. The last session of the first day ended with a panel session hosted by Mr. Rıfat Ünal Sayman of REC Turkey on Local Governments and Climate Action Policies and Practices in Turkey with senior representatives from Union of Municipalities Turkey (UMT), Denizli Metropolitan Municipality, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality, and İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality as guests.
The second day of the event was dedicated to the umbrella theme of “Combatting Climate Change at Local Level” with various focus areas. In the first session, disaster management, best practices and measures were presented by Prof. Mikdat Kadıoğlu from Istanbul Technical University; and best practices of sustainable low carbon transportation and emission reduction in transport was presented by Tolga İmamoğlu of WRI-Turkey. Thereafter, the second section included presentations on green infrastructure planning by Çiğdem Coşkun Hepcan of Ege University, energy, community energy and energy cooperatives by Faruk Telemcioğlu, GÜNDER (International Solar Energy Society-Turkey section) and agriculture, adaptation at local scale and best practices by Prof. Mehmet Somuncu from Ankara University. The third section of the second day was more on the social side of local climate action consisting of a speech by Dr. Nuran Talu, senior policy advisor of Iklim-IN Project, on participatory approach at local level, gender sensitive solutions; a presentation by Mr. Bünyamin Sürmeli from CNNTürk on the role of media in developing participation; and presentations by the young climate action supporters from Niğde Ömer Halisdemir University, Kadıköy Municipality and Antalya Metropolitan Municipality grant projects on their view and concerns regarding the issue. The conference finished with a last panel session on climate finance. The session was conducted by Talat Yeşiloğlu, Ekonomist Magazine, Editorial Director with Esra Arıkan, World Bank Turkey, Emre Oğuzöncül, EBRD, Derya Özet Yalgı, Garanti Bank, Gizem Pamukçuoğlu, TSKB and Derya Sargın Malkoç, Türkiye İş Bankası as guest speakers. The session was of great importance in terms of tackling the needed investment financing and sources for reaching the targets agreed in Paris.
Throughout the 2-day event, 4 Talk-IN sessions were also conducted with 4 grant projects of the Iklim-IN Project; namely, Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, Lüleburgaz munisipality, Fırat University and Niğde ömer Halisdemir University’s projects.
The event closed with great success and impact bringing in people together, sharing knowledge and experience, creating better awareness and focusing on local climate action stressing the importance of joint efforts.