Welcome to the blog of the Latin American Platform on Climate

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Latin American countries attempt to tackle climate change while pushing economic growth

 

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. Read more…

Think tanks in Latin America have major role to play on climate change

 

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.

Read more…

Beyond the Climate Impasse: How the Major Economies Forum Can Lead the Way

 

During George W. Bush’s administration, the government was under pressure to act on climate change, but saw the U.N. as a dead end for negotiations.  Instead of the cumbersome talks with almost 200 countries at the table, the Bush administration favored “minilateral” or “plurilateral” solutions with small groups of countries.

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Peru and Venezuela compete to host COP20 in 2014

 

Next year a Latin American and the Caribbean country will host the annual UN climate change negotiations or ‘COP20’ of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Rumours are circulating that Peru and Venezuela are interested in hosting COP20. As the 2015 deadline to create a new global climate change treaty looms closer, Peru appears to be the stronger candidate.

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The Politics of Climate Change in Latin America: Leaders and Laggards

 

Yesterday, I spoke at an Anglo-Ecuadorian Society event at the Casa Ecuatoriana in London on Latin America and climate change. Latin America is a key battleground and laboratory for confronting climate change and decisions taken in Latin American capitals and by their negotiators at the UN climate change talks could have major implications for the UN climate regime and the region’s development options this century. Here are a few extracts from the talk.

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Introducing the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study 3rd Edition

 

Political and Institutional Challenges facing Local Climate Change Policies: The experiences of Buenos Aires, Mexico City and São Paulo (2012)

 

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.

 

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Mexican and Brazilian cooperation on climate crucial for driving change

 

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.

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Latin American scientists can play a greater role in promoting robust climate policies

 

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.

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Shaping the Durban Platform: Latin America and the Caribbean in a future High Ambition Deal

 

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.

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