While the United Nations Climate Change Conference continued in Glasgow, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) declared Gaziantep a Green City.
Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality (GBB) joined forces with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to include the city in a comprehensive investment program for greening. GBB President Fatma Şahin and EBRD Managing Director of Sustainable Infrastructure Nandita Parshad formalized the agreement at the EBRD headquarters in London.
EBRD TO PROVIDE FINANCING TO GAZIANTEP FOR GREEN CITY
GBB President Fatma Şahin signed the agreement with Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director of Sustainable Infrastructure, on a mutually agreed cooperation in London. Accordingly, Gaziantep will join the EBRD Green Cities, the Bank's flagship urban sustainability program, and develop a comprehensive investment plan. As a first step, the EBRD will consider investing in a solar project in Gaziantep and will help the city integrate solar power into its electricity grids. In addition, within the framework of the Green City Action Plan, which is the backbone of the program, a roadmap of the investment plan will be created that examines how to provide climate-resilient basic services, including solid waste, water, wastewater, street lighting, energy supply and transportation. The Clean Technology Fund, part of the Climate Investment Funds, will finance the development of the plan.
ŞAHİN: OUR TARGET IS TO DISTRIBUTE ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS TO ALL OUR MUNICIPALITIES AS TBB
GBB President Fatma Şahin stated that they were in London for a meeting at the same time as the COP 26 in Glasgow and said that they met with EBRD Sustainable Infrastructure Managing Director Nandita Parshad.
Şahin continued his speech: “We have signed the green city for Gaziantep. As the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB), we have taken an important step to work on the infrastructure of Green Turkey. Our goal is to spread the environmental projects we have handled within the scope of the Union of Municipalities all over Turkey. We had some consultations in London today. It was very important for the EBRD to include us in the green cities category in order to find faster support from environmental projects, both financially and morally, and we made it official.”
PRESIDENT ŞAHİN MENTIONED ON TURKEY'S ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE WORKS
Expressing his opinion at the consultation meeting, Mayor Şahin also mentioned that he is the President of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey. He stated that the biggest implementers of the Paris Climate Agreement, which was signed very recently, are cities. Şahin said, “Development starts locally. The green economy is the world's biggest agenda today. We, as the Republic of Turkey, passed this legal regulation very quickly in the Parliament. As of last week, we changed the name of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization to the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change”.
Expressing that they have formed a path to follow within the framework of local development, Chairman Şahin said, “We are also opening idea projects on smart cities, resilient cities, healthy cities, safe cities and green cities, which we continue to work on. Each of these idea projects comes from our municipality saying 'I have an idea too'. We provide financial support to idea projects that are evaluated by an academic jury.”
“NOW IS THE TIME TO FOCUS ON THE GREEN ECONOMY”
In the continuation of his speech, Şahin stated that they are living in a new era in terms of local government and concluded: “Now is the time to focus on the green economy. Today, one of the most important issues to be considered while doing municipal work is the protection of the environment. I believe that we have taken important steps towards transforming Gaziantep into a green city. That's why this agreement we signed with the EBRD is very important to us. Together we will make a great contribution to a better world.”
PARSHAD: I CAN'T LOOK UP TO WORKING TOGETHER
Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director of Sustainable Infrastructure, said: “We look forward to Gaziantep's participation in our flagship Green Cities programme. Together we will identify and prioritize environmental challenges and link them to sustainable infrastructure investments and policy measures. I welcome Mayor Şahin's forward-looking vision for the city and look forward to working together.” Director Parshad also stated that they will visit Gaziantep as soon as possible and evaluate possible projects.
ABOUT THE EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT (EBRD)
As one of the world's leading institutional investors, the EBRD has invested more than 14 billion Euros in Turkey, mostly in the private sector. Sustainability is at the heart of the Bank's investment and policy engagement.
While emphasizing that the EBRD Green Cities Program eligibility criteria require cities to be willing to prepare the Green City Action Plan, it also considers the condition of finding green investment projects suitable for the program. These conditions briefly cover topics such as metro, water, wastewater, e-bus, regional energy, low-carbon and climate-resistant buildings, renewable energy, street lighting, distribution network, smart solutions, and climate change resilience.
A longstanding partner of the EBRD, Gaziantep is Turkey's fourth city to participate in the Green Cities programme. The bank had previously financed Gaziantep's purchase of an environmentally friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) bus and provided a loan for the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital under a private-public partnership agreement.
EBRD Green Cities is a fast-growing urban sustainability program with a financing volume of €3 billion and covering more than 50 cities and municipalities to date. The program was launched in 2016 to tackle the enormous environmental challenges posed by urban sprawl. EBRD Green Cities has received support from multilateral donors and has provided substantial co-financing.