chile solar In a bid to protect future prosperity from serious climate change impacts, Latin American countries are attempting to balance climate action with economic growth, through domestic policy and at the UN climate talks.
bank Since the creation of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in 2010, concerns have grown about the World Bank's potential role in designing policies to determine the allocation of resources for adaptation and mitigation activities in developing countries.
The Bank is criticised because some of its investments have had negative social and economic impacts on populations in countries receiving financial assistance, including affecting the living conditions of indigenous peoples and, in some cases, the violation of human rights. The Bank is also criticised due to the conditionalities imposed on borrower countries. Today the World Bank is the interim trustee of the GCF, meaning it is managing the fund's financial assets for an initial three years. In this role, the Bank must manage contributions and investments, as well as provide services, including commitment accounting, cash transfers and financial reporting. But it is not responsible for allocating funds or preparing, appraising, supervising or reporting on GCF financed activities. Ostensibly, the Bank will carry out these duties until a permanent trustee is chosen through an open, transparent and competitive bidding process. Even so, the Bank has expressed interest in playing a larger role than just managing financial assets in the future. The governing instrument for the GCF states that the World Bank, in its role as interim trustee, will be subject to a review three years after the start of the Fund's operations. However, there is no rule stating that the Bank cannot continue after the review or that it could not eventually be selected as the permanent trustee. For the fourth meeting of the GCF board in late June, the GCF secretariat was asked to prepare six papers on the key issues relating to the Fund's business model framework (BMF) to facilitate board decisions on the operations of the fund. These papers were written with the support of external consultants, among them former and even current World Bank staff. Having these consultants provide guidance on the BMF will have a considerable impact on the decisions the GCF board must make. While it is still unknown how the GCF will use intermediaries when allocating resources, it is likely that financial institutions will step in to help the GCF channel money. The World Bank plans to seek accreditation to become an implementing entity of the GCF. If that is the case, the World Bank, in its role as an intermediary, must be accountable for ensuring money is used for what it was allocated. This means that the World Bank will have to take on a decision-making role to fulfill its duties. It is worth noting that during the third GCF board meeting in March there was exhaustive discussions on the administrative model that the GCF secretariat should adopt. Most board members said the most suitable model would be based on the structure of multilateral development banks (MDBs) - like the World Bank. That is because these institutions apparently attract the most qualified professionals. The board will also make a decision on the structure and organisation of the fund at their June meeting. Before this, an assessment of the structure and organisation of MDBs, including the World Bank, would help the board in considering potential and suitable options for structuring the GCF. The operational rules of the GCF are yet to be decided. Having the World Bank so close to the fund is a concern. Civil society groups fears that the GCF will end up making the same mistakes as many other financial institutions in funding unsustainable projects that generate negative social and environmental consequences. Lidy Nacpil, the regional coordinator of the Jubilee South Asia-Pacific Movement on Debt and Development said: "The World Bank has been at the forefront of financing fossil-fuel projects that have exacerbated the climate crisis. It is now an ironic contradiction that this same institution that has greatly contributed to the climate crisis is to be entrusted with funds that promise to address the very same problem it helped to create in the first place". In any event, there's still no evidence to determine the future involvement of the World Bank, only room for speculation. But it is important to remain on our toes and mindful of any moves that could increase the World Bank's involvement.   This article was published originally here.  
A recent visit to Costa Rica by Chinese President Xi Jinping has led to a mounting backlash against a proposed oil refinery, which undermines Costa Rica’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2021.
By Guy Edwards and Susanna Mage Key Points
  1. 23 out of 79 (29%) think tanks from Latin America identified in the University Of Pennsylvania study have programs, projects or publications (PPPs) relating to climate change.
  2. Brazil has the highest total number of think tanks (7) with PPPs on climate change. Mexico (4) and Argentina (3) follow.
  3. Latin American think tanks can play a vital role in building a new narrative for climate action and ensuring its place on political agendas, party manifestos and government policy.
  4. Governments in Latin America could do a better job at ensuring the inclusion of think tanks and other organizations in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of climate policies and related debates.
  5. A report focusing on the details of these PPPs would make an important contribution to allow fellow think tanks, researchers, donors, government and NGOs to compare research findings and to locate potential partners on climate change.
  6. Organizations that conduct work on climate change but do not explicitly state the link on their websites may consider updating the descriptions of these programs and be more explicit about any PPPs relevant to climate change.
Latin American civil society organizations are backing Peru’s bid to host COP20 in 2014. The launch of the joint declaration coincides with a pending decision about who will host COP20 at the latest meeting of the UNFCCC currently underway in Bonn, Germany.
Mr. René Castro Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (MINAE) 18 June 2013[i] Minister: It is with deep regret that I must write and inform you of my decision to resign from the Costa Rican delegation of climate negotiators.
Friday, 24 May 2013 11:07

The benefits of a hybrid

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Compared to 2013, the world in 1990 was a simpler place to design a global climate change regime. Countries were either part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or not. This divide was reflected in the two primary groups of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): Annex 1 for developed countries and Non-Annex 1 for developing countries. These annexes reflect the different types of commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries and how they are meant to support developing countries to act.
During the last few years, Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Mexico DF, the three largest urban areas in Latin America, have taken steps in developing an institutional and policy framework to address climate change.  During the Rio + 20 summit, the mayors from these three cities signed a joint declaration in which they stressed that the local governments should take an active role in addressing climate change issues and made a series of commitments to generate a common agenda. Despite the relevance of these developments, climate change policies still face many political and institutional obstacles in these cities. This brief identifies four main challenges confronting reformist actors to advance climate change agendas at the local level, and proposes courses of actions to address these issues.
In spite of the increasing importance of climate and environmental factors when triggering human displacements, it is necessary to emphasize their interaction with other social, economic and political factors so we can better understand migratory movements today.