EU funds €22.2 million initiative to mobilize local climate action in Türkiye

September 28, 2023
Well dressed people sitting in conference room with Turkish Flag and cameras on the background
Photo: Bora Akbay

UNDP partners with Government’s Climate Change Directorate to help local communities mitigate climate risks

Ankara, 28 September 2023 – Yesterday saw the launch of the 22.2 million “EU Partnership for Local Climate Action in Türkiye,” financed by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Directorate of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change (MoEUCC), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Designed to strengthen urban resilience in Türkiye to the threats caused by climate change, the five-year initiative will help communities cope with rising temperatures and climate-driven hazards such as wildfires, floods and droughts.

“Today, Türkiye is taking an important step in its fight against the climate crisis,” said Halil Hasar, the MoEUCC’s Director of Climate Change.  “Although climate change is a global problem, its impact is felt on a local scale. This means that without local climate action, it won’t be possible to achieve our national climate targets. This project will play an important role in our efforts to build climate-resilient cities.” 

UNDP and the Ministry will work with local partners to prepare evidence-based vulnerability and risk assessments in all 12 statistical regions of Türkiye, determined in accordance with the EU regional classification methodology. These assessments will be based on climate projections to be prepared over the next two years in line with Türkiye's climate modelling extending to the year 2100. To support local-level climate responses, these projections will zoom in to provide data on climate hazards with a geographic focus as small as a few square kilometers.

Based on the climate risk analysis of the entire country, Local Climate Change Action Plans will be prepared in cooperation with the six selected pilot municipalities: Antalya, Kahramanmaraş, Ordu, Elazığ, Isparta and Kastamonu. Decision support tools will be produced to support local authorities in creating climate change policies; intensive training on climate change risks and impacts will be provided to both public and non-governmental partners.

“Forest fires, flash floods and droughts – in the past few years Türkiye has experienced first-hand the destructive reality of climate change,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “That is why we are pleased to be equipping local communities across the country with the analysis, tools and resources they need to prepare for the impact and mitigate the risks.”

“The climate crisis is a global problem with local consequences,” said EU Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut. “The impact of climate change is felt squarely at the local level, so we need to implement measures to better protect human lives and livelihoods at the local level.” 

The €7.5 million UNDP-led project will provide technical support to a complementary “climate change grant programme” with a total additional value of 14.7 million, which will award grants to local governments to address locally defined priorities for climate action. The grants will be used to fund such activities as improving energy efficiency in municipal buildings; reinforcing flood prevention infrastructure; conserving water, for example by capturing storm runoff for use in irrigation; expanding green spaces; and establishing early warning systems to alert local populations to extreme weather events and other hazards. 

Many municipal officials and local stakeholders attended the opening event, including the mayors of five of the pilot municipalities. The climate-resilient policies, tools and infrastructures envisaged by the project are meant to benefit not only the pilot municipalities but also all other locations.

A parallel EU-funded program to help municipalities create climate change adaptation action plans is currently being implemented by UNDP and the Directorate of Climate Change in four pilot metropolitan municipalities of Konya, Sakarya, Samsun and Muğla. At the national level, UNDP is currently assisting the MoEUCC in the preparation of both a long-term climate strategy and shorter-term action plans, as well as supporting the technical planning for the emission reductions pledged in the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

For more information: 

Esra Özçeşmeci, Communications Associate for UNDP in Türkiye,