Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LAC Negotiators Prepare for Paris

19 May 2015: Senior officials and negotiators from Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries gathered for a meeting, titled ‘4th Meeting of Chief Climate Change Negotiators of Latin America and the Caribbean,' to discuss the content of a climate change agreement, which is expected to be adopted during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the UNFCCC in Paris in December 2015.

The meeting, which took place from 14-15 May 2015, in Santiago, Chile, brought together representatives from 20 countries in the region. It was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and promoted by the Governments of Chile and Brazil, with support from the EU and France. It aimed to deepen the understanding of priorities, national circumstances and differing positions of countries in the region regarding environmental issues. Participants also discussed, inter alia, regional priorities and needs regarding adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation, finance, national contributions and vulnerability.

During the opening session, Edgardo Riveros, Chilean Under-Secretary of Foreign Affairs, said the region can make a contribution that reflects its capacities and priorities, while promoting the concept of climate justice, given that environmental degradation contributes to deepening inequalities. France's Ambassador to Chile, Marc Giacomini, noted that France seeks to support a process for a "Climate Alliance" in order to reach an ambitious accord that is "forged collectively." Alexandra Knapton, the EU's representative in Chile, expressed hope that LAC countries will show leadership and present ambitious mitigation contributions.

Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC Executive Secretary, emphasized the "asymmetries of climate change," noting that while LAC produces 9% of global CO2 emissions, it is one of the most vulnerable regions to the impacts of climate change. She added that ECLAC has proposed that countries build a "countercyclical investment architecture with a portfolio of low-carbon projects," noting that equality-centered development requires diversified production. ECLAC estimates that a temperature rise of 2.5°C could lead to a loss of about 3% of the region's GDP by 2050.

Attending the meeting as President Pro Tempore of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), Ecuador noted its intention to promote opportunities for dialogue in advance of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Environment of CELAC to be held in October in Quito, Ecuador, in order to forge consensus on a CELAC regional position on climate change. [ECLAC Press Release] [Government of Chile Press Release] [Government of Ecuador Press Release]

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