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​Mayor Soyer made a speech at the ICLEI World Congress

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Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer attended the 2021-2022 World Congress of the Sustainable Cities Network (ICLEI) which is an online network of more than 1,750 local and regional governments. Making a speech at the online congress hosted by Malmö, Sweden, Mayor Soyer stated that the goal of a carbon-free world was possible and mentioned their work to transform Izmir into a city which is resistant to disasters.

Mayor Soyer, who is a member of the ICLEI Global Board of Directors, stressed that he was honoured to be elected co-chair of the ICLEI Climate Action and Low Emission Development Portfolio. “With its low emissions target, ICLEI aims to achieve a climate neutral future for cities, towns and regions around the world,” he said and added that “We aim to achieve climate neutrality in our local and regional infrastructure and practices by 2050 at the very latest. To achieve this goal, we have first set medium-term targets for 2030.”

"Some of these disasters are directly caused by the climate crisis."
Mayor Soyer stated that there have been major catastrophic disasters in Izmir in the last two years, and therefore, climate diplomacy is needed and he emphasized that “Some of these disasters are directly caused by the climate crisis. An outbreak, a large forest fire, tsunami, earthquake, drought and severe flooding happened Izmir in the last two years. These crises have taught us that we need to make Izmir a disaster-resistant city. In this context, we have prepared Turkey's first Green City Action Plan in Izmir. We have identified a number of actions for a variety of environmental issues such as water, biodiversity, air and soil pollution and climate change. We have implemented the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan, in which we set out our actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a disaster-resistant city. We have also created an action plan for land use, waste management, buildings, environmental and biological diversity, energy, public health, civil defence, state of emergency, water management, agriculture and forestry, tourism and transportation. At the same time, with the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan, we have set the goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 40 percent till 2030. These plans were prepared in co-operation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.” Mayor Soyer stated that they have launched a comprehensive program called ‘Izmir Agricultural Vision’ to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture and he added that “Izmir has many projects aimed to reduce carbon emissions. For example, Izmir has Turkey's first electric bus fleet. We generate the electricity of the bus fleet from solar panels placed on the roof of the town halls.”
Soyer mentioned that that they hosted the ‘Sustainable Urban Water Policies Summit’ in Izmir two weeks ago with the solid support of ICLEI, and added that “We care about the water and climate declaration signed by the 22 major cities of Turkey, where 41 million people live. We are determined to make Izmir an exemplary city in the world which is in harmony with the nature. I am pleased to work to fulfil this commitment with my position on the ICLEI Global Executive Committee.”

Who attended?
In addition to Mayor Soyer, ICLEI President Frank Cownie, ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin, ICLEI Deputy Secretary General Kobie Brand and Emani Kumar, Mayor of Malmö, Sweden and ICLEI Global Board Member Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Turku, Finland and ICLEI Global Board Member Minna Arve, Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique and ICLEI Global Board Member Manuel de Araujo, India Delhi National Capital Legislative Council Member and ICLEI Global Board Member Atishi Marlena, Australian Yarra City Councillor and ICLEI Global Board Member Amanda Stone also attended.

Sustainable Cities Network (ICLEI)
Sustainable Cities Network (ICLEI) whose headquarters is located in Bonn, Germany, is an organization of more than 1,750 local and regional governments in over 100 countries aiming sustainable urban development. ICLEI works with local and regional governments on issues such as urbanization, climate change, ecosystem degradation, urban inequality and advocates sustainability policies on national and global level.

The ICLEI World Congress, held every three years, brings hundreds of local, regional, national and international organizations together. The Congress aims to bring up the implementation of the Global Sustainable Development objectives to the agenda and increase the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness and number of these practices.
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