Monica Araya gives her insights into the growing role of non-state actors in the Latin American and Caribbean region, a topic which she presented at the last ECLAC dialogue for Latin American countries, held in Santiago de Chile in May 2015. CDKN supports these dialogues through its Advocacy Fund.
A stadium in Costa Rica became 100% solar powered in May. Powerful headlines energised readers in a region whose love for football and the sun is legendary. A source of pride, this became the first stadium in Central America of this kind.
Tangible benefits, including $185,000 in savings a year, tell a credible story to citizens of why embracing clean energy is smart. The stadium’s conversion also shows that actions by all stakeholders, not only the state, are necessary if we are to collectively shift toward growing economies while emissions go down. Non-state actors, such as companies and city-led initiatives, can make an affirmative difference this year. This will be especially the case once governments sign a new climate agreement in Paris this December.
This year marks a watershed for Latin America as governments decide what they are willing to contribute to a new climate agreement in Paris this December. This is not just a question of offers to tackle climate change - how governments define their plans will determine the level of political buy-in from citizens, civil society, and businesses. The implementation of ambitious and solid contributions is more likely if constituencies consider them beneficial, credible, and legitimate.
SANTIAGO – Latin America may have weathered the global economic slowdown, but for many, the potential impact of global warming, and the measures required to avoid its worst effects, may undermine the region’s fragile political, economic, and social balance – and roll back years of progress.
Bogotá recently held a round of lively debates on sustainable cities in the context of the Rio+20 conference. Experts from many countries and citizens from the Colombian capital attended the debates. One conclusion that I draw from this event is the urgent need to put sustainable development in our urban agendas. We must identify and increase collaboration between “city champions” in public office, business and civil society who are committed to integrating sustainability and resilience in urban development.
A new report released yesterday finds that, thanks to new investments in infrastructure and rapid technological innovation, it is possible to tackle climate change while at the same time improving economic performance. Challenging conventional wisdom, the report refutes the notion that countries must choose between fighting climate change and growing their economies.
Reinventing development will need imagination – a bigger and freer imagination - to transform our aspirations, to reinvent our countries and especially our urban future. Development as usual–growth at any cost, polluted cities and over-exploitation of key resources—hurts people and compromises our ability to prosper in the long term. And shouldn’t development be the means to a better life for the great majority of people?
We are entering the urban and more southern century - by 2050 most people around the world will live in cities. And most of these people will live in developing countries. The mix of pressing demographics and development as usual do not add up to a promising future. There is no such thing as a collective prosperity in countries running on dirty energy, polluted water and toxic air. An alternative course is possible –through cleaner and safer pathways-- if we abandon obsolete notions that accept unsustainable development as if it were inescapable. We can afford bigger aspirations, especially as our southern confidence expands almost as fast as the growth of our middle class and business opportunities.