ADDS REMARKS FROM ERDOGAN THROUGHOUT
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Turkey is a leading country in its region in renewable energy use, the nation's president said Monday.
"Currently, we are meeting more than 30% of the electricity through renewable energy," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he vowed to boost the current rate to 39% by 2023.
Erdogan was speaking at a climate change summit at UN headquarters and said the problems the world faces requires solutions that need regional and international cooperation.
Turkey is also minimizing disaster risk while building climate-sensitive and energy efficient cities, he said.
The Turkish president said his country planted more than 4 billion trees and plans to plant 11 million more by Nov. 11.
"One of our 2023 targets is to increase forest areas to 30% of the total area," he said.
In a bid to reduce greenhouse emissions and solve traffic congestion, Turkey is building subway lines, and will step up the length of intercity railway system by 50%, said the president.
Turkey will also reduce plastic bag consumption by 75% in line with environmental goals.
Erdogan said the Zero Waste project, initiated by first lady Emine Erdogan, has been adopted in all cities and institutions across the country.
"We are expanding Zero Waste project in all of Turkey. By 2023, we will have switched to Zero Waste system in nearly 400,000 buildings," he said. "We will increase the recovery rate of recycling from 13% to 35%."
Turkey is also working on roadmaps to make new buildings carbon neutral by 2030 and existing buildings by 2050.
Erdogan is in New York to attend the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
*Beyza Binnur Donmez in Ankara contributed to the story