Istanbul mayor in New York to discuss environmental issues
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas, the head of the United Nations' United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), flew yesterday to New York for a four-day visit to exchange views on climate change and disaster risks with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "The purpose of my trip is to participate in New York's UCLG activities and attend C40 events," the mayor told reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport. C40 is a collection of large cities, including Istanbul, that are committed to tackling climate change. The UCLG and C40 have long-term goals, said Topbas, including strengthening their partnership during the runup to next year's Rio + 20 Earth Summit. "In order to help cities formulate their own climate action plans, we need financial mechanisms," he said. The 2010 report of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction noted an increase in natural disasters, Topbas said, adding that 65 percent of the world's urban population is at risk. "In a panel on cities at risk, we will discuss the measures that must be taken," he said.