Gaziantep commits to climate action as part of EBRD Green Cities
Reinforcing its key role in financing Turkey’s green transition, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) joins forces today with the city of Gaziantep to help improve the urban environment and people’s lives. As part of this commitment, the city in south-central Turkey will join EBRD Green Cities, the Bank’s flagship urban sustainability programme, and develop a comprehensive investment plan.
Gaziantep, an historical trade and cultural centre, has a population of more than 2 million people and is home to half a million Syrian refugees - the second-largest Syrian community in Turkey after Istanbul. The municipality is committed to a sustainable urban transformation that will benefit all residents.
Fatma Sahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, and Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director, Sustainable Infrastructure, formalised the agreement in London today. Ms. Sahin said: “We are living in a new era in terms of local government – now is the time to focus on the green economy. One of the most important issues to consider while doing municipal work nowadays is the protection of the environment. I believe that we have taken important steps towards transforming Gaziantep into a green city. That is why this agreement that we have signed with the EBRD is very important to us. Together, we will make a great contribution to a better world.”
Ms Parshad added: “We wholeheartedly welcome Gaziantep into our flagship Green Cities programme. Together, we will identify, prioritise and connect environmental challenges with sustainable infrastructure investment and policy measures. I welcome Mayor Sahin’s forward-looking vision for the city and look forward to working together.”
As a first step, the EBRD will explore the opportunity to invest in a solar project and help the city to integrate solar power into electricity grids.
In addition, the Bank will help Gaziantep to devise a Green City Action Plan, the backbone of the programme. It is a step-by-step investment plan, looking at how to climate-proof essential services, including solid waste, water, wastewater, street lighting, energy supply and transport. The Clean Technology Fund, part of the Climate Investment Funds, will finance the plan’s development.
Gaziantep, a longstanding partner of the EBRD, is the fourth Turkish city to join the Green Cities programme, after Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul. The Bank has previously financed Gaziantep’s acquisition of environmentally friendly compressed natural gas (CNG) buses and has provided a loan for the construction of a state-of the-art hospital under a private-public partnership arrangement.
EBRD Green Cities is a fast-growing urban sustainability programme with a financing volume of €3 billion and, to date, includes more than 50 cities and municipalities. The programme was launched in 2016 to address the enormous environmental challenges presented by urban conurbations. EBRD Green Cities has won support from multilateral donors and attracted significant levels of co-finance.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Turkey and has invested more than €14 billion in the country to date, most of it in the private sector. Sustainability is at the heart of the Bank’s investment and policy engagement.
By Olga Rosca