It is urgently necessary to address the gaps and asymmetries that prevent Latin America and the Caribbean from making a green and fair transition, Mario Cimoli, Acting Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), stressed today during the inauguration of an expert dialogue held as part of the process to prepare the annual report Latin American Economic Outlook (LEO) 2022, produced jointly by the OECD Development Centre, CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the European Union (EU).
In the opening segment of the event, entitled “Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: Moving Towards a Greener and Fairer Transition,” the other speakers included Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Director of the Development Centre of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Ewout Sandker, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Chile.
Latin America and the Caribbean is living through a difficult time, with more than one country experiencing a complex economic, social and political situation, due largely to macroeconomic conditions (high inflation and elevated prices for energy and hydrocarbons) and to external restrictions, Mario Cimoli sustained.
ECLAC’s Acting Executive Secretary urged for “seeing a shift in all the parameters that hurt environmental sustainability and also making a fair transition,” in order to increase productivity, reduce informality, create quality employment and make progress on inclusion and equality in the region’s countries.
To achieve this, it is necessary to recognize and rectify Latin America and the Caribbean’s industrial and productive asymmetries vis-à-vis other regions, a key aspect for resolving the region’s problems in relation to productivity and informality, Cimoli indicated, adding that he hoped this debate would translate into concrete policy proposals in the 15th edition of the LEO report that will be published soon.
In a similar vein, Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir of the OECD expressed gratitude for the strong partnership forged between the various institutions and noted that the LEO report has become a key point of reference for the debate on public policies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Furthermore, she stated that “the green transition is not just an urgent task for addressing climate change, but also an unprecedented opportunity for furthering the region’s progress if we adopt the right policies.” The OECD official also indicated that “the green agenda does provide us with an opportunity to create better and formal jobs, to lift productivity and drive the transformation of our productive structure and our energy matrix, as well as to reconnect with our citizens.”
Finally, Ewout Sandker, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Chile, said the bloc is accelerating its energy transition, more so now because of the war in Ukraine, which means that international partnerships are becoming increasingly important. “The European Union will continue to partner with Chile and Latin America and the Caribbean, in light of the multiple ties that unite us, as well as shared views and interests, so as to keep contributing to regional development and contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, supporting joint actions based on multilateralism, collaboration and mutual learning,” he emphasized.
The expert dialogue, held at ECLAC’s headquarters in Santiago, Chile using a hybrid format (in person and virtual), included the following thematic sessions: Strategic Sectors for a New Development Pattern: The Role of Renewable Energy and Electromobility; Productive Transformation, Sustainability and the Circular Economy; The Labor Market and Social Protection Policies for the Transition; and The Green Transition in a Context of Low Growth: The Key Role of Financing.