The 27th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changency at COP27 was held between 6-18 November 2022 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality hosted an event in the Local Governments and Municipal Authorities LGMA Multilevel Action Pavilion, on 12 November, titled ‘Circular Agriculture for Climate Emergency’.
The Director of Global Advocacy of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Mr Yunus Arikan, was the panel moderator.
Mr Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, gave the introductory presentation on the city’s work towards a circular culture.
He said: “We need new principles and approaches to achieve a living strategy in harmony with our planet. Acting alone is never enough. The harmony between our actions is as important as harmony with nature.”
Following Mr Soyer’s speech, the panel discussion was to be about the methods and policies for an inclusive and resilient approach to food production to reduce carbon emissions and ensure sustainable water management. Investment opportunities and incentives in this area were also debated.
Mr Sameh Wahba, Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank, who was also among the speakers, stated that they supported Türkiye in terms of modernisation of irrigation systems and circularity of water and underlined that the global climate crisis can only be solved through effective cooperation.
He added: “Cities are an important part of the solution. We need to express cities as recycling centres. A sustainable transformation of food and agriculture systems is possible in the long term. We need strong and visionary partners as Mr Soyer suggests.”
Another panellist speaker, Mr Gianpiero Nacci, Director of Sustainable Business and Infrastructure at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, was asked by the moderator the following question: “How does the EBRD plan to invest in innovations? Can you see the financial feasibility of these projects? How will you integrate them into local communities?”
In his answer, Mr Nacci mentioned that there are limited financial possibilities for sustainable food systems, and also emphasised the need to fill the gaps in regulations and identify problems. He also brought a different perspective to the issue by saying that “in addition to what the previous speakers said, it is important to identify the problems. Then it is necessary to create a platform where all sectors, stakeholders and decision-makers come together to resolve.”
Ms Şükran Nurlu, Deputy Secretary General of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, presented a framework for the climate crisis, including examples of what the Municipality has done and will do to address the climate crisis. At the end of her speech, Ms Nurlu stated that “We must now move from expressing our commitment to the goals to achieving the goals.”
Mr Güven Eken, Counsellor to the Mayor of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, participated in the panel online. He expressed what has been done in line with the “Circular Agriculture Vision” and emphasised the ways and projects that İzmir is implementing in the fight against the climate crisis.
In this context, the Mera İzmir project, which can be a pioneer in achieving the “mitigation and adaptation” targets commonly used in the fight against carbon emissions, was explained.
Mr Martin Frick, Director of the Berlin Global Office of the United Nations World Food Programme, was asked “How do you measure the impact of this summit? What do you see in the implementation phase?”
Mr Frick answered: “There have been 27 UN summits on climate. Yet, only after 27 summits have food and agriculture become a central issue. If we look at food as a system, one-third of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from here.”
Mr Frick concluded his speech by saying, “the way to create livable cities and solve the crisis we are in is to use traditional ways of knowledge and innovation together.”
Ms Marie-Claire Graf, the youngest speaker of the panel and a member of the Climate Youth Negotiators Program, UN Food Systems Champions Network, emphasised that COP meetings create synergies and interaction. She also pointed out that isolation does not help to overcome
this global crisis. She expressed her hope that the impact of the meeting will lead to more cooperation and more stakeholders taking responsibility. Ms Graf also underlined the importance of the inclusion of diverse people and young people in this process, in addition to legislators. She emphasised that supporting youth communities in this area will have an accelerating effect in terms of mobilisation towards success.
During the event, İzmir Metropolitan Municipality held further successful meetings to talk about climate change-related activities with the Food Systems Pavilion, Food4Climate Pavilion, Food and Agriculture Pavilion, Swedish Pavilion, WRI, Spain Pavilion, Korea Pavilion, French Pavilion, Water Pavilion, WWF, COE Bank, City of Glasgow, Prima-med, Google, Icomos.