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Turkish local authorities slowly moving towards energy sustainability

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In Turkey, 82% of the population lives in urban areas, where 80% of the country’s CO2 emissions are generated. If business continues as usual, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase twofold by 2030. In this rather unfavourable context, a two-day international Energy Efficiency conference – to which the Covenant of Mayors Office was invited - took place from 30 September to 1 October 2011 in Istanbul (Turkey) in the hope of presenting some alternative solutions to participating local governments, NGOs and private sector representatives.
Speaking at the event, Head of the Covenant of Mayors Office Kristina Dely offered some perspectives on how the transition to integrated, sustainable energy planning can constitute a job and wealth creator for local economies. In Turkey, adopting such energy efficiency standards could indeed lead to much-needed savings, as the country’s energy consumption could be reduced by a third of its present level, which is way above the world average. As of today, 5 October 2011, four of the country’s municipalities, have already decided to take the leap by joining the Covenant of Mayors.

The international energy efficiency conference was organised in the framework of the EU-supported project dubbed “Strengthening Energy Efficiency Capacities and Networks of Civil Society Organizations and Municipalities: Bosnia Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Serbia and Turkey” and aiming at increasing collaboration among different groups with the potential to influence energy efficiency policies.