(14 November 2022) Fourteen parliamentarians from eleven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean region signed a joint statement, at the event "Latin American and Caribbean Parliaments Leading: mobilizing climate financing", held on November 10 in a hybrid form, organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), with the support of the European Union, through the Euroclima+ Program, and the Open Society Foundations (OSF).
From the Euroclima+ Pavilion at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), in the city of Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, and through a digital platform, parliamentarians participating in the Parliamentary Observatory on Climate Change and Just Transition (the Spanish acronym is OPCC) that belong to diverse ideological currents but that share the commitment to the fight against climate change signed a joint statement that expresses the leading role of parliaments in the just transition to sustainable and low-carbon economies especially in terms of climate finance.
The OPCC originates from the identification of the need to strengthen interparliamentary cooperation so that those responsible for formulating policies can review and approve the legislation relevant to said transition through a Parliamentary Observatory on the subject.
In 2021, the Euroclima+ Pavilion at COP26, the creation of the OPCC was announced, with the aim of constituting a shared information tool on the status of legislation and environmental parliamentary treatment in the region. Since then, the OPCC has identified 271 current environmental laws (423 if decrees are included) and 189 environmental bills under concrete treatment in the last two years in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
A year later, parliamentary leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean met again, at COP27, with the dual objective of: (i) discussing the treatment of financing in the climate legislation of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean; and (ii) express the common voice of Latin American and Caribbean parliamentarians on climate finance through the symbolic signing of a joint statement.
The joint statement signed within the framework of COP27 reaffirms the commitment to the co-construction of a concrete agenda of actions to promote information access and the design of climate policies. In this sense, the OPCC will continue promoting the exchange of experiences and proposals, the follow-up of legislative discussions and the dissemination of government actions in the area of just transition.
In addition, the statement highlights the main preliminary findings of the OPCC's first policy brief, which is under development, which will present a comparative study of climate change framework legislation in the countries represented in the OPCC, including the issue of climate finance.
“Our region, despite being one of the least responsible, historically, for greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, being one of the most impacted by climate change, is making a substantial contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the setting of greenhouse gas mitigation goals and the establishment of an institutional framework that promotes sustainable finance in particular”, signals the statement.
In addition, the parliamentarians who signed the declaration commit to “promote the development of the financial structure that allows the raising of public and private funds, as well as international cooperation funds, for adaptation, mitigation and loss and damage projects, as well as working on urban and rural resilience, capable of facing the climate crisis” and to “articulate mechanisms to supervise the resources granted to our countries for the fight against climate change under principles of effectiveness, efficiency, legality, transparency, impartiality, reliability and quality.”.
The event was moderated by Santiago Lorenzo (Head of the Climate Change Economics Unit of ECLAC) and included the participation, in person, of Sen. Jaques Wagner (President of the Environment Commission of the Federal Senate of Brazil), Sen. Gladys González (President of the Environment and Sustainable Development Commission of the Argentine Senate), Dip. Ximena García (Secretary of the Commission of Natural Resources and Conservation of the Human Environment, Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation), Rep. Juan Carlos Lozada (Representative to the Chamber of Congress of the Republic of Colombia) and the Honorable Mr. Melvin " Mitch” Turnbull (Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, British Virgin Islands). In a virtual format, the following parliamentarians participated in the event: Dip. Maximiliano Ferraro (Member of the Commission of Natural Resources and Conservation of the Human Environment, Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation), Sen. Cecilia Isabel Requena Zárate (President of the Commission of Land and Territory, Natural Resources and Environment of the Senate of the Plurinational State of Bolivia) and Dip. Juan Federico Ruiz (Member of the Special Committee on the Environment Chamber of Representatives, Uruguay).
The following parliamentarians signed the joint statement:
- National Senator Gladys González, President of the Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Senate of the Argentine Nation
- Senator Jaques Wagner, President of the Environment Committee of the Brazilian Senate
- Senator Cecilia Isabel Requena Zárate, President of the Committee on Land and Territory, Natural Resources and the Environment of the Senate of the Plurinational State of Bolivia
- Representative Juan Carlos Lozada, Representative to the Chamber of Congress of the Republic of Colombia
- Deputy Ximena García, Secretary of the Commission on Natural Resources and Conservation of the Human Environment, Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation
- Deputy Maximiliano Ferraro, Member of the Commission on Natural Resources and Conservation of the Human Environment, Chamber of Deputies of the Argentine Nation
- Deputy Rodrigo Agostinho, Member of the Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development Chamber of Deputies of Brazil
- Senator Ximena Órdenes Neira, Member of the Commission on Challenges of the Future, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senate of Chile
- Mr. Gwendell Mercelina, Member of Parliament Curaçao
- Deputy Samuel Andrés Pérez Álvarez, Deputy of the Seed Legislative Bloc Congress of the Republic of Guatemala
- Honorable Ms. Veronica Dorsette Hector, Montserrat Parliamentary Secretary
- The Honorable Mr. Melvin “Mitch” Turnbull, Minister of Natural Resources and Labor, British Virgin Islands
- Deputy Mtro. Federico Ruiz, Member of the Special Commission on the Environment Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay
- The Honorable Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities and Telecommunications Commission, Turks and Caicos Islands Government
Access the OPCC website: https://www.cepal.org/opcc
The event was recorded and can be accessed from: https://youtu.be/uSwmDhka2Bg