Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Urban Research and Development Center (URDC) and Faculty of Architecture, Housing Education, Research and Advisory Center (HERA-C) celebrate the World Habitat Day (Human Settlements) every year on the first Monday of October. In this respect, a panel titled “Climate Change and Cities in Transition: Examples and Experiences” was organised.
Organized within the framework of Urban October events, the panel on the effects of climate change in cities took place on the first Monday of October, 4 October 2021, World Habitat Day. EMU HERA-C President Assist. Prof. Dr. Pınar U. Righelato moderated the panel, EMU Architecture Faculty academic staff member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ercan Hoşkara and Dr. Tokie Laotan Brown from Nova Gorica University participated in the event.
The participants, who made statements about the climate change in England and Northern Cyprus, emphasized that the disasters that cause human fatalities in both contexts have increased significantly and that the concrete cities have become insufficient to cope with natural disasters.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ercan Hoşkara emphasized that energy resources are at the forefront of the basic inputs that are essential for the economic development of countries, and stated that it is important to target sustainable energy policies to supply the society with low cost, demanded quantity and quality of the energy type desired to be used. Noting that today's global energy policies are mainly determined by oil and natural gas, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoşkara stated that this also applies to our country. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoskara also noted that with the TRNC Renewable Energy Law, which came into force in 2011 with the aim of reducing the demand for non-renewable energy sources, a significant increase has been observed in the number of buildings that contribute to solar energy, but there was no regulation on how to integrate them into the building, causing visual pollution in the cities. Stating that although there are partial applications in obtaining solar energy, due to the difficulty in storing the energy obtained and the limited renewable energy infrastructure, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoşkara also emphasized that it is more important for the future to focus on sustainable energy policies instead of making policies on the Cyprus problem in the country.
Dr. Brown, on the other hand, stated that in 2019, the UK, which is the first G-7 country to officially announce its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, has taken serious steps in its greenhouse gas emission reduction plan as it prepares to host UN COP26. Dr. Brown stressed that the "Net Zero Strategy: Rebuild Greener" strategic document created in this context will mean that the British will need to make drastic changes in the way they travel, heat their homes and consume electricity. Stating in the strategy document that the British economy has grown by over 75 percent since 1990, it has managed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 44 percent. In this context, Dr. Brown stated that helping the UK gain a competitive advantage in low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps, electric vehicles, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage by 2030 is among the goals of the roadmap. Dr. Brown stressed that with this strategy, it is aimed to provide all of the UK's electricity from clean energy sources "depending on the reliability of the supply" by 2035. Talking about the increasing social environmental movements, Dr. Brown added that the young eco-warriors who protested against the thermal insulation of the existing social housing stock in England gave hope for the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.