Climate Week Provides Platform to Drive Action in Latin America and the Caribbean
This past August, the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP), and the Government of Uruguay held the 12th edition of the Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week. The three-day event included a wide range of forums and workshops under the theme “Climate Action for Sustainable Development: Driving Change in LAC.” The event attracted stakeholders from a variety of sectors, including governmental agencies, civil society, business leaders, and climate innovators, making it one of the most successful events in the region in recent years, both in terms of attendance and programming. This year’s theme is especially important because climate action and sustainable development require an integrated approach, as was clearly articulated by former Secretary General Kofi Annan, under whose leadership the NFP was established in 2006.
The Latin America and Caribbean region is highly vulnerable to climate disasters: precipitation patterns are shifting, temperatures are rising, and some areas are experiencing changes in the frequency and severity of weather extremes such as heavy rains. The impact of these climate change patters ranges from melting Andean glaciers to devastating floods and droughts, which are likely to persist in the future as both the atmosphere and oceans continue to rapidly change. All of these developments pose a grave threat to ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. With this in mind, Patricia Espinosa, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, welcomed participants with a clear message: “the future of our economies will be shaped and defined here, which is one of the many reasons why this Climate Week is so important.”
Climate action presents enormous challenges and opportunities for development, making an integrated approach to sustainable development essential. In this respect, the region has been an innovator on climate policies as well as a leader on climate action since the signing of Kyoto Protocol. For instance, Chile and Colombia have pioneered economic instruments to reduce emissions such as carbon taxes, while other countries are providing financial protection from natural disasters through risk insurance. Many countries in the region have been carrying out their traditional climate leadership not only in their own countries, but also seeking regional platforms to collaborate. These platforms include the Pacific Alliance, and the more recent 2017 Paris Declaration on Carbon Pricing in Americas (CPA), an initiative that seeks to implement carbon pricing as a central economic and environmental policy instrument for ambitious climate change action, as the Region moves to the next stage of country market readiness.
In light of country market readiness, the World Bank Group led a high-level plenary session in Uruguay on Country Readiness Programs to shed a light on the latest developments in the America’s path towards developing carbon pricing instruments and policies to best position the Region to achieve their climate action goals.
These programs, actions and innovations are particularly relevant as the world moves to finalize the Rule Book to operationalize the Paris Agreement by 2020, including implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions. Regional Climate Weeks like the one held in Uruguay have a vital role to play, particularly because “it represents a transformational shift that is already underway, and which embraces the participation of all constituencies,” said Espinosa, and thus it provides an opportunity and a platform for local actors to shore-up climate action.
About the Author
Carlos Cordova works at the World Bank Group’s Carbon Markets & Innovation unit, where he leads the development, coordination and delivery of the Regional Climate Weeks in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia; including the World Bank Group Climate Change flagship event Innovate4Climate. In addition, Carlos provides technical and advocacy support to the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC) and the Partnership Market Readiness (PMR).