Judas tree blooms at Otagtepe, FSM Bridge over Bosphorus in Istanbul

Istanbul Wins in WWF’s One Planet City Challenge

Istanbul has been named the national champion in the international One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) organized by WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

This recognition highlights Istanbul’s commitment to developing effective, ambitious, and innovative solutions in the fight against the climate crisis.

The OPCC, held biennially since 2011, showcases cities that are global leaders in climate action. In the 2023-2024 edition, over 350 local governments from 50 countries, including 13 from Turkey, competed to become climate pioneers. Istanbul emerged as Turkey’s “climate leader,” surpassing other finalists Antalya and Kadıköy.

The jury commended Istanbul for its comprehensive climate action plan, integrating this strategy into urban planning while ensuring transparency and accountability. The city’s climate strategy, focusing on energy efficiency and transportation, demonstrates effective governance and sets an example for national and international cities. Istanbul’s plan also promotes “building back better,” addressing both mitigation and adaptation aspects of climate action.

To celebrate Istanbul’s victory, an award ceremony will be held on June 2nd at Kadıköy Environment Festival in Freedom Park. Dr. Sedat Kalem, WWF-Turkey’s Conservation Director, will present awards and participation certificates to the Turkish finalists.

Additionally, representatives from Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, Kadıköy Municipality, and previous national winner Izmir Metropolitan Municipality will participate in a panel titled “Climate-Friendly Cities.”

Following the panel, WWF-Turkey and the Association of Natural Building Materials and Methods will unveil a report on “Natural Building Materials and Methods for Disaster-Resilient Cities,” further contributing to the discourse on sustainable urban development.

Istanbul’s success in the One Planet City Challenge underscores its role as a leader in climate action, paving the way for a more sustainable future for cities in Turkey and around the world.

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