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Climate Change and Environment Panel Organized

Corlu Mayor Ahmet Sarıkurt, speaking at the “Climate Change and Environment Panel,” said, “Together, we can be strong actors in the fight against climate change.”

Within the scope of Environmental Week, the “Climate Change and Environment Panel” was organized by the Corlu Municipality’s Climate Change and Zero Waste Directorate to discuss factors affecting climate change, recommendations, ongoing work, creating awareness, and finding solutions in Corlu.

The panel, which began with a moment of silence and the recitation of our national anthem, was attended by Corlu Mayor Ahmet Sarıkurt, Prof. Dr. Lokman Hakan Tecer, the Dean of the Corlu Engineering Faculty at Namık Kemal University, Yalçın Karaca, Deputy Director of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change, Prof. Dr. Halim Orta, a faculty member of the Biosystem Engineering Department at Namık Kemal University’s Faculty of Agriculture, Harun Temel, the Director of Meteorology, deputy mayors, municipal council members, executives and representatives of non-governmental organizations, citizens, press members, and speakers Prof. Dr. Asude Hanedar, Prof. Dr. Günay Yıldız Töre, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nuray Olcay Işık Emeksiz, and Research Assistant Dr. Can Burak Özkal.

“We Are Aware of Our Responsibility”

In his opening speech at the panel, Corlu Mayor Ahmet Sarıkurt stated, “Climate change is one of the greatest threats the world is facing, and its impacts on the environment are becoming increasingly apparent every day. As the Corlu Municipality, we are aware of our responsibility in this regard, and we are working diligently to make our city more sustainable, greener, and more livable.

This panel provides a platform not only to share knowledge and experiences on climate change and environmental issues but also to generate new solutions. In our panel, we will try to understand the global and local impacts of climate change through scientific data shared by our expert speakers. At the same time, we will address topics such as environmentally friendly policies, renewable energy sources, waste management, and water conservation, focusing on solution proposals.

“We Will Make Corlu a Leading City in Environmental Matters”

Corlu, due to being an industrial city and constantly attracting migration and with its growing population, is one of the cities most affected by climate change. I believe that it is all our duty to make our dynamic Corlu a pioneer in environmental matters. Particularly as local administrations, we play an important role in promoting environmental sustainability and combating climate change.

The ideas, recommendations, and proposals of our non-governmental organizations, local businesses, academics, and people are highly valuable to develop environmentally friendly policies and projects. Therefore, I work with a participatory management approach and invite everyone to actively contribute to environmental issues.

“The Legacy We Leave to Our Children May Cause Bitter Consequences.”

We should always remember our nature, not just during environmental weeks; urgent, feasible, and sustainable plans and actions are necessary to protect our nature and climate. If we don’t fight against climate change, this legacy we will leave to our children in the future may result in very painful consequences for them.

“It is Inevitable to Develop a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan”

As Çorlu Municipality, we signed the “Mayors’ Covenant” introduced by the European Commission in 2019, which supports sustainable energy policies. We are one of the 41 municipalities in our country that have signed the Covenant. By signing the Covenant, we committed to adopting an integrated approach to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure adaptation. It is inevitable for us to develop a “Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan” in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and increase resilience against climate change.

“We Must Achieve Zero Emissions Goal”

According to the Paris Agreement, which our country also became a party to in 2021, the global average temperature increase should be kept below 2 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era; additionally, we are witnessing global efforts to keep this increase below 1.5 degrees. The Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce global emissions by at least 50% by 2030, also aims to achieve a net zero emissions goal by 2050 worldwide.

Dear participants, it is time to take urgent action on environmental and climate change issues. Let’s work together for a greener and sustainable future. I believe that this panel is an important step towards accelerating the environmental transformation of our city and creating a more livable Çorlu. Finally, I would like to thank everyone involved in the realization of this panel. I would like to thank our valuable scientists for their contributions and support to our panel.

Together, we can become strong actors in the fight against climate change,” he said.

Following President Sarıkurt, Dr. Ozan Deniz, the Climate Change and Zero Waste Manager of Çorlu Municipality, took the stage and provided information on the necessary steps and work to be carried out regarding climate change, which poses a threat to life both globally and in Turkey.

Following the speeches, the first session of the Climate Change and Environment Panel was held under the moderation of Prof. Dr. Halim Orta, with presentations by Prof. Dr. Asude Hanedar and Prof. Dr. Günay Yıldız Töre. Prof. Dr. Asude Hanedar provided information on climate change and its effects on Turkey, as well as the global impacts of climate change. Evaluating recent global temperature increases, ocean warming, glacier melting, decreasing snow cover, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events, Prof. Dr. Hanedar shared data on the causes and effects of climate change, stating that countries that ratified the Paris Climate Agreement need to fulfill their commitments to limit global temperature increase to as far below 2 degrees as possible, preferably 1.5 degrees, and to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2053.

Following Prof. Dr. Hanedar, Prof. Dr. Günay Yıldız Töre spoke about the effects of Microplastic Pollution and Climate Change. Providing information on the recycling rates of plastic waste, Prof. Dr. Töre stated that the 7th continent (Garbage Patch) formed in the Pacific Ocean consists of waste from all countries. She explained that after the fragmentation process, these waste materials re-enter the life cycle through plankton, which negatively affects human health. She also mentioned that the recent mucilage problem in our country emerged due to the disruption of this mechanism in the seas.

At the end of the first session of the panel, panel moderator Prof. Dr. Halim Orta made evaluations and stated, “The biggest and most fundamental problem of Thrace is the environmental problem. While Thrace deals with environmental problems on the one hand, it is also confronted with the problems caused by climate change on the other hand. In the years 1974-1978, when attempts were made to establish a meat and fish processing facility in the area where leather factories are located today within the boundaries of the Ergene District, the members of the Çorlu Municipal Council at that time opposed the construction by saying, ‘Water is valuable to us, and our city’s water resources are provided from here. We are against the establishment of this facility here.’ They halted the construction. Of course, we are not against production. However, it is our natural right to demand that the right investment be made in the right place. In short, those who cannot protect their land and water cannot protect their freedom and posterity,” he said.

At the end of the first session of the Climate Change and Environment Panel, Mayor Ahmet Sarıkurt presented flowers to Prof. Dr. Halim Orta, Prof. Dr. Asude Hanedar, and Prof. Dr. Günay Yıldız Töre.

The second session of the panel was moderated by Prof. Dr. Lokman Hakan Tecer, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Namık Kemal University. During the second session, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nuray Olcay Işık Emeksiz gave examples on the topic of “Sustainable Environment.” Discussing the relationships between living beings and their environment within the scope of natural resources, cultural resources, living organisms, inanimate entities, and environmental relationships and interactions, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emeksiz emphasized that environmental problems and their global impacts have become one of the most crucial issues since the last quarter of the 20th century. She stated that in order to meet the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, efforts should be made to use natural resources efficiently and promote clean production in industry, while also planning for the future. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emeksiz added that achieving sustainable development requires economic efficiency, the protection of the environment and natural resources, and the principle of equality.

Dr. Can Burak Özkal, a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Engineering at Namık Kemal University Çorlu, gave a presentation on “Air Pollution and Odor Pollution in Cities” during the second session.

Dr. Özkal stated that a mobile application and odor tracking system have been developed in collaboration with Çorlu Municipality to monitor complaints related to emissions and that the public has been involved in this through the Çorlu Coder application. He expressed that they have reached accurate findings within time frames regarding the locations and types of pollution compiled during the process. Dr. Özkal emphasized that air pollution is a public health issue and stated the need for Air Pollution Measurement Stations and Meteorological Stations to increase their measurements in order to obtain accurate data.

Highlighting the importance of the relationship between volatile organic air pollutant measurement results, odor complaints, and meteorological factors, Dr. Özkal mentioned that it is crucial for government institutions, industries, and individuals to fulfill their responsibilities, and for local, regional, and national solution centers to become operational. The results of the inspections conducted in our region by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change are highly valuable to us. Based on the obtained data, we will initiate efforts to develop a model that can predict periods and regions with high odor complaints.”

At the end of the second session of the panel, the moderator Prof. Dr. Lokman Hakan Tecer stated the following:

“We will implement a sustainable development model by utilizing our agricultural production in industry and enhance our societal well-being. While doing so, we need to take precautions to pass on natural resources to future generations. Today, important studies are being conducted to overcome specific problems. We are also trying to contribute to the process with various researches. Significant progress has been made in waste disposal. However, large investments are required for the advanced level of wastewater treatment systems. These incur significant and high costs when compared to the amount of water consumed.”

At the end of the panel, Çorlu Mayor Ahmet Sarıkurt presented flowers to Prof. Dr. Lokman Hakan Tecer, Dean of Çorlu Engineering Faculty at Namık Kemal University, Assoc. Dr. Nuray Olcay Işık Emeksiz, and Research Assistant Dr. Can Burak Özkal, and a group souvenir photo was taken to commemorate the day.

Source: (BYZHA) Beyaz Haber Ajansı


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