Turkey's central city of Konya welcomed the country's first Climate Council with locals soliciting to increase the number of such events.
The Climate Council began Monday to establish a road map in line with the Paris Agreement to reach net-zero emissions by 2053. The five-day event ended Friday.
More than 1,000 representatives from public institutions and universities, scientists, businesses, farmers, and activists attended.
Rıdvan Geçer, a high school student who lives in the city, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that residents in rural areas are very happy about the Climate Council.
"They have an opinion that the negative effects of climate change on human life can be handled via these talks. I think the climate council is an important step and will be useful," he said.
Geçer cited early warnings and studies by scientists on the danger of climate change and stressed that action should have been taken much earlier to protect the environment and fight climate change. Giving an example from Konya, he said the water level in lakes is going down and the number of sinkholes has increased while there were regressions in agriculture and more people migrate from the villages to the cities. "More action is needed about these problems," he said.
He also said events like the Climate Council needs to be announced to people to raise awareness. "I am also happy that Konya has been decided as the host city for the country's first Climate Council."
Taxi driver Furkan Asil was happy said the movement of people in the city has increased thanks to the event. "Since I am a taxi driver, we have witnessed the density of people over the last days on the route of the congress center where the Climate Council was held, and there is an interest there," he said.
Asil pointed out that Konya is an important agricultural city and said the effects of climate change on agriculture are serious. "These negative effects also impact agriculture and the economy. Therefore, we expect the authorities to do more to resolve this issue," he said.
Kudretullah Turan, an Uzbek-origin Afghan who came to Turkey in 2014, said he is interested in climate change and the environment. "Climate change affects the environment, thus cleaning, order and economy," said Turan, who owns a mobile shop in the city center.
He said Konya has recently taken green steps on the environment, such as expanding cycling routes and green areas. However, such important organizations should be held more, added Turan.