Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu has addressed the online meeting organized by C40 Mega Cities Climate Leadership Group(C40 Cities), where economic recovery processes and climate change activities were discussed. Mayor Imamoglu summarized the strategic steps taken in 10 different areas such as subway construction, increasing the active use of park areas, smart city applications, waste-to-energy projects. The Mayor said, As Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM), we value the mission of C40 and its role in global change, and we wish to play an active role in this great change.

Mayor Imamoglu participated in the “European Mayors’ Meeting” organized by C40 Mega Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities). In the virtual meeting held online, the issues “Obstacles in the post Covid-19 Economic Recovery” and acceleration of climate activities within the scopes of “New Global Environmental Pact” and “European Environmental Pact” were discussed. In attendance were the mayors of Athens, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Roma, Stockholm, Tel Aviv and Warsaw.

The meeting, moderated by David Miller, the C40 Director of International Diplomacy, was launched with the opening remark of the C40 chairperson and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.

Strategic Steps Taken in 10 Different Areas

Mayor Imamoglu stated, “As the  IMM, we value the mission of C40 and its role in global change, and we would like to contribute actively to this great change”. The Mayor emphasized that the “Ecologic Just Improvements” plan, prepared as his team launched their service at the IMM, was a scientific guide for the defense against Covid-19 and the activities held regarding potential crises. Imamoglu summarized the strategic steps they took in 10 different areas, from subway train construction to increasing actively utilized park areas and from waste-to-energy to smart city applications.

We are to Reduce the Proportion of Fossil Fuel Vehicles in Istanbul

“Through this improvement, we are to reduce the proportion of fossil fuel vehicles in Istanbul. We are also renewing our bus lines with hybrid vehicles. In our city, we have actualized 50 new ferry lines. To make Istanbul even better, we have increased our park and recreation areas considerably. Starting with the municipal parking lots, we took steps to increase by 2024 the ratio of renewable energy to total energy consumption to 18% by installing solar energy sources at our service locations. We have increased the proportions of compost and recycling and generated 4556 MWh electricity in Istanbul in 2020, where 18 thousand tons per day more solid waste is generated than in many European countries. We started applying big data technologies both for improving traffic flow and for smart city solutions. With our ‘Adaptive Traffic Direction System’ (ATAK), we have achieved a carbon emissions reduction of 18%. The new power plant we have finished and began operating, meeting the energy needs of 500 thousand homes and preventing the release of 3,6 million tons of carbon per year.”

We Believe in the Importance of Unity

Mayor Imamoglu further said, “We are revising our ‘Climate Change Action Plan’ with a technical team from C40, making Istanbul a carbon-neutral and resilient city in 2050,” adding, “To manage this process, we have initiated an ‘Urban Ecological Systems Bureau’. We decided to approach our city’s issues primarily by evaluating them in the light of ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals’ and by solving them via the democratic participation of all parties involved. We believe in the importance of unity through technical and financial cooperation in the struggles against Covid-19 outbreak in European cities and against worsening climate change, which are topics covered in this meeting.”

What is C40?

C40 Mega Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities) is a network formed by World cities coming together in October 2005 in London for reducing greenhouse gas emissions against climate change. The organization aims to bring together the cities that lead climate studies for the goal of helping cities set policies that are sustainable, measurable, and purposeful by practical cooperation and knowledge sharing about climate change. C40 Mega Cities Climate Leadership Group has brought together more than 90 cities in the last decade, representing a population of more than 700 million. C40 has three types of members: “megacities”, “innovator cities”, and “observer cities”, and the current distribution of its member cities are as follows: 11 from Africa, 31 from Asia, 20 from Europe including Istanbul, 27 from Americas, and three from Oceania. Its chairperson is Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles.