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…
By Guy Edwards and Susanna Mage
- 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.
- Brazil has the highest total number of think tanks (7) with PPPs on climate change. Mexico (4) and Argentina (3) follow.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Durban Platform: Implications and Scenarios in Latin America (2012)
This report analyzes submissions made by Latin American countries to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for …
Sustainable Development 20 years on from the Earth Summit: Progress, gaps and strategic, guidelines for Latin America and the Caribbean (2012)
This report by ECLAC published in March 2012 prior to the Rio+20 Conference offers an analysis of progress made and …
Capturing the Riches of Bolivia: Utilizing Historical and Contemporary Experience in Bolivian Mining to Inform Future Resource Policy (2012)
Centuries of foreign extraction of Bolivian natural resource wealth have occurred at the expense of environmental protection and overall development …
Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change Adaptation in the Peruvian Andes (2012)
Indigenous peoples have extensive knowledge of their local environment and this knowledge can be a valuable tool for climate change …
Shaping the Durban Platform: Latin America and the Caribbean in a future High Ambition Deal (2012)
After the longest session on record, governments at the COP17 in Durban in December 2011 agreed to negotiate by 2015 …
Three Hungry Giants: China, the U.S. and the E.U.’s battle over Latin America’s natural resources, and its implications for climate change and resource scarcity (2012)
This presentation was made on April 6, 2012, by Brown University Research Fellow Guy Edwards and Professor Timmons Roberts at …
Poles Apart – The international reporting of climate change scepticism (2011)
Poles Apart is a wide-ranging comparative study on the prevalence of climate scepticism in the media around the world. It …
Dangerous Climate Change in Brazil: A Brazil-UK Analysis of Climate Change and Deforestation Impacts in the Amazon (2011)
This collaborative project between the Centro de Ciência do Sistema Terrestre (CCST) of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), …
Civil-Military Collaboration to Address Adaptation to Climate Change in South America (2011)
This paper, published by the Center for Strategic Leadership (CSL) at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC), was written by …
‘Will cattle ranching continue to drive deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?’ (Paulo Barreto, 2011)
This is a presentation made by Paulo Barreto, Senior Researcher at IMAZON, at the April 8th Brown University Conference on …
‘Slow Boil: Colombia’s response to the chronic emergency of climate vulnerability’ (Antonio Hill, 2011)
This is a presentation made by Antonio Hill, Regional Advocacy and Campaigns Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean for …
‘The Squeezed Middle: Why Latin America Matters in Climate Politics’ (Monica Araya, 2011)
This is a presentation made by Dr. Monica Araya, E3G Senior Associate and adviser to the Ministry of Environment of …
Scoping Study of Climate Change Activities across Latin America and the Caribbean to inform the CDKN Regional Strategy (2010)
This study prepared by Guy Edwards attempts to identify the priority needs of Latin American and Caribbean policy-makers with respect …
Regional implications of the Advisory Group on Climate Finance recommendations: Latin America and Caribbean region (2010)
This report was written by Vivid Economics and funded by the CDKN. It was requested by AGF members to help …
Economics of Climate Change in Latin America and the Caribbean Summary 2010
This document, published by the ECLAC and carried out in collaboration with regional governments, the EU, IDB and various other …
IDB Development Effectiveness Overview 2010
This annual report summarizes the actions taken by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to measure and improve the social, economic, …
Climate Change: A Research Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean (Inter-American Development Bank, 2010)
This research agenda outlines the issues requiring further research in order to create an informed assessment of what strategies and …
Latin America finds a voice on climate change: With what impact? (2010)
This article featured in the North American Congress on Latin America written by Jim Shultz and published in 2010 describes the …
Low Carbon, High Growth: Latin American Responses to Climate Change (2009)
The World Bank’s flagship report on Latin America and the Caribbean explores how the region is exposed to climate change …
Climate Change in Latin America (2009)
The European Commission funded a study which would ascertain the problems related to climate change within Latin America. The study …
Up in smoke? Latin America and the Caribbean: The threat from climate change to the environment and human development (2006)
This publication is an important contribution to establish greater awareness about climate change. It is a call to action not …
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Blogs & Websites
- Observatório do Clima
- Blog de Cambio Climático – Perú
- Hablemos de Cambio Climático – blog de BID
- Cambia.pe – Testimonios sobre Cambio Climático
- Cambio Climático Rural
- Climate Change Agriculture and Food Society
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- Notes on ICTs, Climate Change and Development
- World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth
- Natural Resources Defense Council – Amanda Maxwell Blog
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- BBCMundo.com | América Latina
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- Clima de Preparación – historias de la adaptación, la experiencia, y las exploraciones
- Climate Science Watch
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- Ecosystem Marketplace
- Energías Renovables
- Energía Sur – Centro Latino Americano de Ecología Social
- Fórum Brasileiro de Mudanças Climáticas
- Green Momentum – Cleantech for Latin America
- Gráficos Vitales del Cambio Climático para América Latina y el Caribe
- Mudanças Climáticas
- Observatorio Ambiental
- O Eco
- Programa Local de Adaptación al Cambio Climático
- Real Climate Economics
- Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
- Sistema de Información Ambiental de Colombia (SIAC)
- AlertNet – Climate Change
- Ushahidi – tools for democratizing information and increasing transparency
- Latin American countries attempt to tackle climate change while pushing economic growth
- Chinese loan for oil refinery clashes with Costa Rica’s climate policies
- Think tanks in Latin America have major role to play on climate change
- A New “Why” for Climate Action
- Platform publishes new policy brief on how to strengthen public policies on agriculture, livestock and forests in Latin America
- Peru and Venezuela compete to host COP20 in 2014
- The Politics of Climate Change in Latin America: Leaders and Laggards
- Integrating Climate Migration into Latin American regional forums
- IDB: LAC must urgently adapt to the dangerous consequences of a changing climate
- A New Latin American Climate Negotiating Group: The Greenest Shoots in the Doha Desert
- Trail-blazing schemes show potential of REDD+ in the Brazilian Amazon - Emily Kirkland: I second that- thanks for the...
- Trail-blazing schemes show potential of REDD+ in the Brazilian Amazon - Guy Edwards: Graham – thanks for your...
- Trail-blazing schemes show potential of REDD+ in the Brazilian Amazon - Graham Woodgate: Dear GuyTwo points for you...
- Ecuador’s Yasuní Initiative shakes up the climate-development agenda - Guy Edwards: Rachel: Thanks for your comments....
- Ecuador’s Yasuní Initiative shakes up the climate-development agenda - rachelincolombia: Hi Guy,Thanks for this much...
- Ecuador’s Yasuní Initiative shakes up the climate-development agenda - Amazonia: It is great to develop...
- Latin America, climate change and the countdown to Copenhagen: Interview 1* - kiramatali shah: . According to the...
- Chávez criticizes lack of transparency in Copenhagen - tiffany: Thanks for the post – you might find this...
- Latin America, climate change and the countdown to Copenhagen: Interview 3* - tax jobs: HiIn this site very super ,...
- Adios Chacaltaya - Mbenzi: I was there 1980, before it officially started to melt. One of the strangest places I have...
Challenges for a Climate Compatible Development: How to strengthen agricultural, livestock and forestry public policies (2013)
This policy brief emerges from a process of analysis of the status and quality of the public policies on climate …
Report on the Status and Quality of Public Policies on Climate Change and Development in Latin America (2012)
This report analyses the present status of public policies on climate change and development in Latin America focusing on the …
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 …
Latin American Platform on Climate Strategy 2010
This document outlines the Strategic Lines of Action of the Latin American Platform on Climate.…
Latin America: Climate Challenges for the Region (2009)
A LAPC presentation made at the COP15 in Copenhagen, 14th December 2009…