The Hatay Metropolitan Municipality in southern Turkey announced Thursday its plans to reduce carbon emissions by 23% by 2030.
The commitment – 2% above the national average – will be backed by the United Nations Development Program and İlbank. In doing so, Hatay, which has already been tested by a growing influx of Syrian refugees, has proved that it is ready to take on another challenge and take bold steps to combat the effects of climate change.
The municipality revealed its plans at the closing meeting of the EU-funded “Carbon Footprint Inventory and Climate Change Action Plan” project, held at the Museum Hotel Antakya, the world’s first museum-hotel hybrid. It joins 16 other cities in mapping out a “Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) to create “low-carbon, sustainable and habitable cities.”
The project will provide capacity building training to municipality personnel, update the greenhouse gas emission (GGE) inventory and develop a web-based module for the follow-up of the implementation of the CCAP.
Speaking at the program, UNDP Turkey Communications Director Faik Uyanık said due to the increase in temperatures stemming from climate change, the Mediterranean Basin, which Turkey and Hatay is a part of, is facing a high risk of drought. “There may also be significant drops in the water levels of streams,” Uyanık said.
Hatay is one of Turkey’s high-risk areas in terms of low water levels and drought. “We won’t call this ‘climate change’ anymore, this is an emergency. From now on, we’ll use ‘climate crisis’ instead,” Uyanık added.