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‘Climate change is systematic shock to civilization’

Representative of UNDP in Turkey points to altering patterns in climate change, rise in climate-related disasters in Turkey.

The climate crisis is a “systematic shock to civilization” rather than a social, environmental or economic issue, a representative of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Turkey said on Wednesday.

“It’s a tremendous challenge for our planets and residents,” Sukhrob Khojimatov, deputy resident representative of UNDP in Turkey, said at an event in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the project titled Enhancing Adaptation Action in Turkey, Khojimatov stated that as the problem is systematic, so the solution is also expected to be systematic which “should increase resilience of natural systems and human systems while decreasing inequality in all dimension.”

“Climate change has impact on Turkey significantly in the last decade […] the climate change patterns are changing and climate related disasters are increasing in Turkey,” he said citing figures by Turkey’s meteorology department.

He went on to say that there is also a long term increase in the number of summer days and tropical days in Turkey which shows the increasing effects of climate change in the country.

“Thanks to the fruitful partnership we have been working on energy efficiency, resource efficiency, renewable energy and integrated ecosystem disaster risk reduction,” he added.

Khojimatov said the UNDP in Turkey and the Environment and Urbanization Ministry collaborated in the EU project, which aims to build resilient societies against climate change.

“The specific purpose of this project is to establish an enabling environment for climate change adaptation in Turkey by developing the policy, technical and operational baselines, which includes better decision making tools for national climate change on the adaptation policies.”

‘Climate change has no borders’

“Climate change is of course a global issue, and we have to think of global solutions, but the first thing is also we need to act at local level,” Angel Gutierrez Hidalgo, first counsellor of EU delegation to Turkey, said.

Explaining this, he mentioned that local solutions such as the project to be implemented in Turkey, will also provide local specific solutions to address the climate change.

“It’s clear that any action that we implement here in Turkey today will also have an impact across our border. And this is why it’s also important for the EU,” Hidalgo said, emphasizing that climate change does not have borders.

EU countries are responsible for less than 10% of the global emissions, he said, and urged everyone to act together.

Also addressing the event, Sebahattin Dokmeci, deputy director general of environmental management at Turkey’s Environment Ministry, said increase in the number and intensity of disasters caused by climate change poses a great threat to all living creatures.

Mentioning that Turkey is located in the eastern Mediterranean, which is shown as one of the most vulnerable regions to the effects of climate change, he stressed that the frequency and severity of disasters in the country affected by climate change has increased significantly in recent years.

“Especially disasters such as floods, landslides and cyclones in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions, caused serious loss of life and property,” he said.

He said that Turkey’s climate change platform also will be launched as part of the intended project that will serve as a network of all climate change data, prepared in Turkey, scientific publications for all specialists working on climate change.

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