(9 November 2021) Fifteen parliamentarians from twelve Latin American and Caribbean countries signed a joint statement that marks the announcement of the Parliamentary Observatory on Climate Change and Just Transition (the Spanish acronym is OPCC), in the event “Protagonists Latin American and Caribbean Parliaments: Announcement of the Parliamentary Observatory on Climate Change and Just Transition ”, held on November 9 in a hybrid form, facilitated by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) with the support of the European Union, through the Euroclima+ Program.
From the Euroclima + Pavilion at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 26), in the city of Glasgow, and through a digital platform, parliamentarians who belong to diverse ideological currents but who share the commitment to the climate agenda formally subscribed to the creation of the OPCC. The objective of the OPCC is to serve as a shared information tool on the state of environmental legislation and parliamentary procedures in the Latin America and the Caribbean region and beyond.
Through a joint statement, they committed to continue working to strengthen the standards of environmental legislation in the region and contribute to global climate action from an inclusive and sustainable perspective. In this sense, the OPCC will promote the exchange of experiences and proposals, the follow-up of legislative discussions and the dissemination of government actions in matters of just transition.
“We consider that it is primordial to establish a cross-cutting roadmap that involves all jurisdictions and State powers of our countries to push for a new development paradigm towards a just transition to sustainable low-carbon economies in the global South”, indicates the joint statement.
According to a first survey carried out by the technical teams, to date 238 environmental laws in force and 168 bills have been identified in as concrete proposals under discussion in the parliaments of the member countries.
During 2021 and prior to the creation of the Observatory, “Parliamentary Dialogues on Just Transition” were carried out, co-organized by senators Jacques Wagner and Gladys González, presidents of the Environment commissions of the Senates of Brazil and Argentina, respectively, with the support of ECLAC. In addition, two international seminars were held with political leaders from around the world, including representatives from the European Union and the United States.
The event was moderated by Senator Jaques Wagner (Brazil) and had the participation, in person, of Juan Antonio López de Uralde Garmendia (deputy and president of the Ecological Transition Commission of the Spanish Congress of Deputies), Alex Sobel (Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom), Gladys González (National Senator of Argentina), Brenda Austin (National Deputy of Argentina), Rodrigo Agostinho (Federal Deputy of Brazil) and Vincent Wheatley (Minister of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, of the British Virgin Islands). In virtual form, Cecilia Requena Zárate (Senator of Bolivia), Guido Girardi (Senator of Chile), Juan Carlos Losada (Representative to the Chamber of the Congress of Colombia), Gwendell Mercelina (Member of the Parliament of Curaçao), Samuel Andrés Pérez Álvarez participated (Deputy of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala), Otis Morris (Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities and Telecommunications Commission, Turks and Caicos), Juan Federico Ruiz (Deputy of Uruguay) and Joseluis Samaniego (Director of the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division of ECLAC).
The signatories of the joint statement that marks the announcement of the OPCC are:
- National Senator Gladys González, President of the Environment and Sustainable Development Committee of the National Senate of Argentina
- National Deputy Brenda Austin, Vice President of the Commission for Natural Resources and Conservation of the Human Environment of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentina
- Senator Jaques Wagner, President of the Environment Commission of the Federal Senate of Brazil
- Federal Deputy Rodrigo Agostinho, Federal Deputy at the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil
- Senator Cecilia Isabel Requena Zárate, Secretary of the Committee for the Environment, the Amazon, Biodiversity, Protected Areas and Climate Change of the Senate of Bolivia
- The Hon. Vincent O. Wheatley, Parliamentary Representative and Minister of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, British Virgin Islands
- Senator Ximena Órdenes Neira, President of the Commission for the Environment and National Assets of the Senate of Chile
- Senator Guido Girardi, President of the Commission on Challenges of the Future, Science, Technology and Innovation of the Senate of Chile
- Representative Juan Carlos Losada, Representative to the Chamber of the Congress of the Republic of Colombia
- Congresswoman Paola Vega, President of the Environment Commission of the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica
- The Hon. Otis Morris, Parliamentary Representative and Minister of Home Affairs, Transportation, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities and Telecommunications Commission, Turks and Caicos
- The Hon. Veronica Dorsette-Hector, Parliamentary Secretary, Montserrat
- Mr. Gwendell Mercelina, Member of Parliament of Curaçao
- Deputy Samuel Andrés Pérez Álvarez, General Secretary of the Semilla Legislative Bloc and Deputy of the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala
- Congressman Juan Federico Ruiz, President of the Environment Commission of the Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay
Access the OPCC at: https://www.cepal.org/opcc
The event was recorded and can accessed via: