Think tanks in the region can provide information on political and technical matters related to climate change negotiations that contribute to forging a consensus in Paris in 2015, senior United Nations officials and representatives from research centers said during an event held in Lima, Peru in the framework of the 20th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20).
The meeting, held on December 10, was attended by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). ECLAC organized this activity in conjunction with the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and Peruvian consulting group Libélula, which is specialized in environmental matters.
The event was also attended by Laurence Tubiana, IDDRI’s founder, Ambassador for Climate Change and Special Representative of the French government to the COP 21; Margarita Astrálaga, Director of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and Waldemar Coutts, Director of Environmental and Maritime Affairs at Chile’s Foreign Ministry.
Other participants included René Castro, a former Costa Rican Energy and Environment Minister and member of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE); Céline Ramstein, COP 21 Project Manager at IDDRI; María Paz Cigarán, Libélula’s General Manager; and Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive Officer of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN).
With the support of ECLAC and UNEP, the Paris-headquartered IDDRI organized a process in previous months in which the region’s think tanks prepared reports on financing for climate initiatives and ways to boost low-carbon development.
This contribution, participants said, shows that there is great public policy and research experience on climate change adaptation and mitigation processes in Latin America and the Caribbean, which could be harnessed to find areas of consensus and overcome hurdles in the global climate negotiations over an agreement that should be signed next year in Paris, during the COP 21, and will replace the Kyoto Protocol starting in 2020.
The participants said that although the region has relatively low emissions compared to global levels (9 percent of the total), it is very vulnerable to climate change. In this context, the implementation of adaptation and mitigation policies creates an opportunity to strengthen regional integration within the framework of sustainable development with equality and lower levels of carbon dioxide.