Latin America Green News COP20 Edition: Latin American presidents head to Lima; countries present plans; civil society urges more action

Latin America Green News is a selection of weekly news highlights about environmental and energy issues in Latin America.

This week and next we will focus on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations held in Lima, Peru COP20)

December 1–6 2014

Presidents from Latin America will begin arriving in Lima soon to participate in the second week of the climate negotiations. Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, will speak on December 9 and is expected to call for land titling for indigenous communities. The presidents of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos; Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and Chile, Michelle Bachelet will speak on the following day. Ollanta Humala, president of Peru the host country spoke at the inaugural session via video and explained the goal of COP20 is to secure a new climate agreement in 2015.  (El Nuevo Herald 12/4/2014;  Gestión 12/1/2014)

Chile launched its first National Climate Change Adaptation Plan at the COP. The plan identifies 100 cross-sectoral actions in nine areas: agriculture and forestry, water resources, biodiversity, fisheries and aquaculture, health, energy, infrastructure, tourism and cities. It also dedicates funding to strengthen scientific research and monitoring of climate change. The plan presented at the COP is an outline of the final policy, recognized Subsecretary of Environment, Marcelo Mena. The ultimate goal is to have a set of strategies focused on biodiversity, cities and health that will help Chile prepare for the impacts of climate change. According to local environmentalists, the plan fails to adequately address issues such as water resources and glacier protection. (La Tercera 12/1/2014; Diario UChile 12/4/2014)

Implementing the mitigation measures outlined in Peru’s Climate Change Plan (Plan CC) would attract US$2.5 billion in investment announced the Vice Minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources. Of the plan’s 77 mitigation measures, Peru will prioritize 33 in the energy, transportation, industrial processes, agriculture, land use, and waste sectors. The Peruvian government expects that many of the measures will need to be undertaken by the private sector. Peru already has voluntary emission reduction targets in the forestry, waste and energy sectors. Plan CC will serve as a basis for formulating Peru’s new binding emission reduction commitment. For example the energy sector target will be separated from transportation which will have its own proposal. ( 12/4/2014; El Comercio 12/3/2014)

Mexico already has emission reduction targets of 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050, but local civil society groups CEMDA and ITDP point out that in order to meet these targets, the Mexican government will have to do more and implement concrete actions related to energy efficiency, renewables, and public transportation. They also note that Mexico is not doing enough to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels with the energy sector dedicating limited funding to renewable energy development. (El Universal 12/1/2014)

A coalition of organizations from Central America issued a statement at the COP calling on the international community to take immediate action to address the drought and food security crisis affecting the region. In Central America 2.5 million people face food insecurity due to climate disruptions. The coalition called for clear strategies to protect water resources and a binding framework post-2015 stating it was “time to move beyond discussion to action.” (Notimerica 12/6/2014) 


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