Turkish first lady addresses urgent need for environmental action at New York event

NEW YORK, Sep 18 (AA/APP): Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan emphasized the critical importance of addressing climate change and environmental preservation during an event Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“Our shared home, the world, is increasingly reminding us that climate change is our most pressing issue,” said Erdogan, citing “extraordinary disasters” that hit Türkiye, Libya, Greece, Bulgaria and Georgia.
The first lady made the remarks during the “Path to Global Zero Waste Movement” event at the Turkish House attended by top UN officials, diplomats and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

“The critical threshold of the climate crisis is upon us, and today, we must move beyond discussion and assessment to implement urgent action plans,” she added.

Highlighting the necessity of escaping the spiral of industrialization’s excesses for the sake of environmental preservation, the first lady noted that humanity has turned into a consumer society surrounded by disposable products.

She shared the staggering fact that every second, the world produces 127 tons of food, with 41 tons wasted, while 820 million people struggle with hunger.

The first lady also revealed the alarming statistic that 1 billion plastic bottles are sold every minute globally.
She expressed concern that a significant portion of this waste finds its way into the seas and oceans, endangering marine life.

She also predicted that the annual production of 2 billion tons of domestic waste could surge to 4 billion tons by 2050, underscoring the adverse effects of such high consumption on both waste management and natural resource depletion.

Turkish authorities implemented the Zero Waste initiative in Türkiye in 2017. The first lady said it helped prevent the unnecessary use of 650 million tons of raw materials and saved water equivalent to the needs of 2 million families.