By Guy Edwards and Cody Zeger* As Mexico hosts the G20 Leaders’ Summit followed later this week by the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil, both countries climate credentials are under serious scrutiny. Little serious bilateral cooperation has taken place between these regional and global leaders on climate change. However, cooperation could prove essential for achieving greater action on climate change in Latin America and abroad.
Saturday, 14 April 2012 18:03

Mexico passes new climate law

Written by
[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/40270073[/vimeo]
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 10:55

Can Bolivia benefit from a potential lithium bonanza?

Written by
History is on the verge of repeating itself in Bolivia. In a time when the world is trying to find the best ways to achieve sustainable development and deal with climate change, Bolivia stands poised to provide an especially vital resource to any budding green revolution: lithium. But looking at the country’s troubled mining history it is questionable whether Bolivia will be able to turn its lithium into prosperity, or just another exported opportunity.
In Eastern Africa, severe drought is causing massive famines. In the United States, temperature records are soaring due to one of the warmest winters in decades. From pine beetle infestations in the Rockies to thinning ice in the Arctic, the impacts of climate change are inescapable.
Indigenous peoples have extensive knowledge of their local environment and this knowledge can be a valuable tool for climate change adaptation. Unfortunately, indigenous knowledge is rapidly being lost as a result of globalization, out-migration, and the continued marginalization and impoverishment of indigenous peoples. Through the lens of three case studies from the Peruvian Andes, this paper by Emily Kirkland, Brown University, demonstrates the irreplaceable role that indigenous knowledge can play in adaptation to climate change, as well as the crucial contribution outside actors can play in preserving, restoring and disseminating this knowledge.
Centuries of foreign extraction of Bolivian natural resource wealth have occurred at the expense of environmental protection and overall development within Bolivia. Since the Spanish began mining silver in Potosí in the mid 16th Century, foreign mining interests have destroyed forests and depleted water reserves, severely altering the Bolivian environment. All the while, these same foreign mining interests have removed a large portion of the wealth generated by the resources, leaving large areas of Bolivia underdeveloped. Presently, the global need for lithium and the Bolivian government’s need for foreign investment will require the prompt, and sustainable, development of Bolivia’s substantial lithium reserves. This paper examines historical mining perspectives in Bolivia with the goal of understanding how to improve future mining policy. To that end, the paper concludes with policy recommendations for the next stage of seeking foreign investors for development of Bolivian lithium reserves.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrEBR2lbAqo[/youtube]
By Guy Edwards, Victoria Elmore* and Jin Hyung Lee**   The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is underway and is due to be completed by 2013/14. There are 84 Latin American and Caribbean contributing authors out of a total 833. As we approach the publication date, these scientists have a vital role to play in promoting the importance of climate science in Latin America and persuading governments to create robust and ambitious national and international climate policies.  In turn, regional governments should continue increasing levels of funding and scientific cooperation on climate science given the significant role it can play in developing policies on climate.
This study prepared by Guy Edwards attempts to identify the priority needs of Latin American and Caribbean policy-makers with respect to climate change and development planning and highlights key organizations, actors and programs that are operating in the climate change and development arena in the region.
After the longest session on record, governments at the COP17 in Durban in December 2011 agreed to negotiate by 2015 a climate deal to enter into force in 2020. The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action defied predictions that the meeting in South Africa would lead to a collapse of the UN climate talks. Many parties from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have worked many years to make possible the political compromise achieved in the final hours and included in the Durban Platform. Today, the challenge is to make this platform ambitious enough to avoid dangerous climate change. In this new CDKN and Energeia Policy Brief we discuss the outcomes of the COP17, the contribution Latin America and the Caribbean made and the implications of the Durban Platform for the region. The Brief finishes by offering a set of recommendations:
1. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries supporting high ambition at the international climate negotiations need to continue to shape a more ambitious climate narrative by acting together, domestically and internationally, and strengthening existing work with experts on bold action both within and outside the COPs. 2. Informal exchanges inside and outside of the UNFCCC process to jointly define key milestones for the Durban Platform and identify areas of convergence and divergence must take place within LAC countries and with Africa and Asia between now and 2015. 3. Both at home and abroad, the LAC region needs to improve how it communicates its successes on low carbon, climate resilient strategies to keep building confidence and generating a stronger impact at the international climate negotiations. 4. LAC countries need to continue to explore how best to advance national conversations linking climate change issues such as mitigation and resilience plans to national interests and potential losses in food security, infrastructure and trade.
To read the Policy Brief click here.
After the longest session on record, governments at the COP17 in Durban in December 2011 agreed to negotiate by 2015 a climate deal to enter into force in 2020. The Durban Platform for Enhanced Action defied predictions that the meeting in South Africa would lead to a collapse of the UN climate talks. Many parties from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have worked many years to make possible the political compromise achieved in the final hours and included in the Durban Platform. Today, the challenge is to make this platform ambitious enough to avoid dangerous climate change. In this new CDKN and Energeia Policy Brief the authors discuss the outcomes of the COP17, the contribution Latin America and the Caribbean made and the implications of the Durban Platform for the region. The Brief finishes by offering a set of recommendations.