“Let’s Talk Climate” takes stock of Stockholm+50

June 7, 2022
Bora Akbay / UNDP Türkiye

Discussion led by UNDP Turkey Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat concludes that ambitious action is urgently needed to protect the planet

Istanbul, 7 June 2022 – Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, UNDP Turkey opened the fourth season of its popular “Let’s Talk Climate” discussions with a special session devoted to the Stockholm+50 conference held on 2-3 June 2022. There was a clear consensus: too much time has been wasted, and bold action is needed urgently to respond to the “triple planetary crisis”: climate change, ecosystem collapse and pollution.

The discussion was hosted by actor and activist Mert Fırat, the UNDP Turkey Goodwill Ambassador, at the DasDas performing arts center in Istanbul. Speakers included Louise Morsing, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Sweden; Louisa Vinton, UNDP Turkey Resident Representative; and Onat Sarıtaş, Founding Chairperson of Başkent University Environmental Club and Climate Envoy.

“We have had half a century to thwart climate change,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “Yet looking back we see missed opportunities and wasted time. We know what needs to be done, so the challenge now is to mobilize the political will to do it. This was the idea behind Stockholm+50, and we are pleased to see the resolve for action growing here in Turkey.”

“By recognizing the importance of multilateralism in tackling Earth’s triple crisis – climate, nature, and pollution, we need to act toward a healthy planet for the prosperity of all now!” said Morsing.

“A clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right,” added Climate Envoy Onat Sarıtaş. “Getting there will require difficult choices, so we need to ensure that everyone – including young people, women, indigenous peoples and local communities – has a say in decision-making.”

The “Let’s Talk Climate” session marks a year-long consultation process organized in Turkey by UNDP to assess national environmental concerns and priorities ahead of the Stockholm+50 conference. Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, the international conference was convened by the UN General Assembly under the slogan of “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.” Leaders meeting in Stockholm last week agreed that greater resolve was needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, fulfil the Paris Agreement on climate change and the post-2020 global Biodiversity Framework, and encourage the adoption of green post-COVID-19 recovery plans.

The UNDP consultations were designed to encourage widespread participation extending beyond official circles in national capitals. The effort in Turkey included face-to-face discussions, focus groups, a social media campaign and a national online survey coordinated with the Climate Presidency within the Ministry of Environment, Urbanisation and Climate Change. With Swedish support, UNDP organized similar national consultations in 59 countries.  

The consultation process in Turkey showed that ratification of the Paris Agreement and the setting of a net-zero target for 2053 has inspired hope that climate action can be accelerated. Survey respondents highlighted the energy sector the most for impact. The three top priorities identified were state regulations to create a green economy, phasing out fossil fuels such as coal and oil, and adopting more sustainable consumption habits. One of the key solutions participants agreed was needed for Turkey is a climate law to ensure a comprehensive approach with mandatory impact.

The “Let’s Talk Climate” session on 7 June 2022 was preceded by a Common-Ground International Social Good Communication Conference where civic activists exchanged views on the needs of NGOs and rights movements, gender equality, rural development and climate action.

More information on Let’s Talk Climate: iklimce.undp.org.tr and @iklim_ce

More information on Stockholm+50: www.stockholm50.global and @StockholmPlus50

Media Contact: Faik Uyanık, UNDP Turkey, faik.uyanik@undp.org

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