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Experts Debate at ECLAC Social Cost of Carbon Implementation in Latin America

28 December 2018|Briefing note

Within the framework of the cooperation program between the European Union and Latin America EUROCLIMA +, the first results of technical studies that analyze the application of this type of instrument in the countries of the region and in strategic sectors of their economies were presented.

With the aim of promoting the use of incentives in Latin America to guide investment towards environmentally sustainable development, on December 20 and 21, the first meeting of the Regional Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon was held at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in Santiago, Chile.

This activity is part of the EUROCLIMA+ program's execution, that seeks to contribute to the progress of the countries of the region in the implementation and compliance with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The meeting was aimed at decision-makers in matters of public investment and climate change from the ministries of finance, finance, planning, social development and related secretariats of Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. These countries requested technical studies from ECLAC to work on the incorporation of a social carbon price, whose preliminary progress was presented during the meeting.

"At this stage of EUROCLIMA +, ECLAC is working on the monitoring and generation of tools for the NDC’s fulfillment, like the potential of incorporating adaptation, giving support to a working group that is trying to align the monitoring, reporting and verification metrics of emission reductions in order to generate a carbon market in the Americas with the United States and Canada, and carrying out the annual report of climate finance flows to our region," said Joseluis Samaniego, Director of the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC.

For Alejandra Naser, of the Latin American Economic and Social Planning Institute (ILPES) of ECLAC, the Regional Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon "contributes to increase the quality of public investment, by considering the projects’ location, the incorporation of new technologies and the vulnerability reduction in public infrastructure in Latin America ".

Francisco Tula, Director of the Public Investment Area of ​​the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Policy of Costa Rica, and also President of the Network of National Public Investment Systems (SNIP), said that the working group "helps us to have updated information in order to support decision-making on public investment issues with scientific principles and data."

"It is a direct contribution to generating more modern, efficient, transparent and participatory States through effective management of public investment," added.

During the meeting, the initial results of the studies requested by the Regional Working Group were analyzed, and will continue their execution in 2019. These studies address the determination of a methodology for estimating social cost of carbon, the review of the legal faculties of the national and subnational governments for its establishment, and the simulations of its impact in the infrastructure, transport and energy sectors.