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Latin America Seeks Decisive Role at COP21 in Paris

Nadia Pontes - openDemocracy
go to original
November 26, 2015

The presidents of the Alliance of the Pacific (L-R) Colombia’s Manuel Santos, Chile’s Michele Bachelet, Peru’s Ollanta Humala and Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico (Ministerio de Relaciones Extranjeros/Cancillería del Perú)

“Every day we are becoming more vulnerable to climate change,” warns Monica Echegoyen of Mexico’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, who argues that this recognition is driving Latin America’s shift towards greener development paradigms.

Latin America’s negotiators have a special role at the UN’s climate talks because their countries are growing without causing the same levels of pollution created by developed countries, Echegoyen says. The UN’s 195 member countries will meet in Paris for two weeks later this year in an attempt to secure a global agreement, active from 2020, that will limit global temperature rises to 2°C.

Mexico was praised for the early submission and ambition of its national climate plan, known as its Intended National Determined Contribution (or INDC) in UN jargon. Latin America’s second largest economy committed to reduce 2013 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2030, decoupling them from levels of growth as of 2026.

But experts say that Latin America’s different political and intraregional negotiating blocs complicate outlining a unified regional position and they argue that not all countries have demonstrated the same ambition as Mexico. Brazil, Latin America’s largest GHG emitter, is yet to submit its INDC (it has until October 1) but hinted at its emissions targets in June in a joint declaration with the US. The declaration was subsequently slammed by analysts.

Read the rest at openDemocracy | Español

Related: COP 21: Tribal People on Front Line in Battle Against Climate Change (Survival International)

Related: Global Rallies to Kick Off Paris Climate Talks (Expatica)

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