10 May Monday

"Istanbul" Dialogue Between Kerry and İmamoğlu

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu attended the C40 meeting together with USA Special Envoy for Climate, former Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry, who was surprised by being informed by İmamoğlu that ‘Istanbul is the only C40 member city of Turkey’, stated “We need to be able to bring more people and more cities to the table. Thus, we can raise more awareness.”

Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu attended the online meeting organized by C40 Big Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities). Local administrators from 21 different cities around the globe participated in the virtual meeting “Improving Green and Fair Recovery Efforts” which was supported by USA, and they made various inquiries to the USA Special Envoy for Climate, former US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mayors Directed Inquiries to Kerry

Delivering the opening speech of the meeting, Los Angeles Mayor and C40 President Eric Garcetti emphasized that the national governments should be more determined and collaborative on the issues of the pandemic and climate change. After Garcetti, Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan and Head of the C40 Global Mayors Covid-19 Recovery Task Force, delivered a speech on the need for green improvement with equitability and actions taken by cities. Kerry, the USA Special Envoy for Climate, emphasized in his speech climate change and drew attention to the role of cities on it. Afterwards, participating mayors delivered 2-minute speeches and made inquiries to Kerry.

Istanbul — The Only C40 Member City of Turkey

In his speech, referring to the issues of Covid-19, climate action plan, and waste-energy management, İmamoğlu said:
“Nowadays, while we observe the devastating consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary not to ignore also the issue of climate change, which is expected to have at least as devastating consequences in the near future. In this regard, as Istanbul, the only C40 member city in Turkey, we are honored to benefit from the vision of the C40 and to spread this vision to non-member cities. In the upcoming period, we would like to be more actively involved in the C40 and to deliver more service within the C40 leadership.”

"We Signed the Agreement of Green City Action Plan with EBRD"

“I would like to briefly mention the climate actions of Istanbul. First, sustainable public transport. Istanbul is among the top 5 cities in the world in the construction of rail systems. In this context, we signed the "Green City Action Plan" agreement with the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development). With this agreement, our process of building a new metro network of 25.5 km is to begin. In this context, we are to provide employment also to low-skilled workforce.”

"We are to Eliminate 17 Percent of the Waste Produced by 16 Million”

“Waste management and energy management is another important issue we focus on. With the Waste Incineration and Energy Generation facility we have built, we are to ensure that 17 percent of the waste generated by the population of 16 million is eliminated. In energy consumption, we are to increase the share of renewable resources to 18 percent by 2024. With rain tunnels and other infrastructure projects, we are constantly working to make Istanbul a more resilient city today and in the future.”

"Should be An Example for National Governments"

Stressing that as Istanbul, they are pleased to see that the USA is strongly focusing on the issue of climate change, İmamoğlu said, “We hope this will set an example for all national governments as well. We use all the methods and tools available to us, but we must say that not all municipalities have equal tasks in this regard. For example, making an impact in a city of 16 million is a major challenge, especially in the absence of national and international financial support. Istanbul has important climate change initiatives, but changes in plans on a national scale can damage the entire process. For this reason, it is important that we cooperate and make sure that the plans are carried out using all relevant financial and political means.”

Kerry: "Accountability is Basic Policy"

Speaking again after İmamoğlu, Kerry stated that he was surprised that only Istanbul is included in the C40 from Turkey and said, “We need to be able to bring more people and more cities to the table, so that we can have more awareness.” Highlighting the importance of city governments and governments being accountable, Kerry emphasized that this is a fundamental policy.

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