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LAC Climate Week: a milestone on the road to securing ambition by 2020

GLAND, Switzerland – WEBWIRE

Latin America has a unique opportunity to provide climate solutions to tackle the four great system transformations needed to keep the temperature rise below 1.5°C: land and ecosystem conservation, industry, energy and cities and  infrastructure. This will be highlighted at the second UNFCCC Regional Climate Week, taking place in Salvador, Brazil from 19 - 23 August.  

The meeting will enjoy participation by governments and other actors including NGOs, the private sector, local communities and Indigenous Peoples.  The outcomes of the event will be captured in a report of recommendations from the Latin American region and shared with Heads of State attending the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit, taking place in New York on 23 September. 

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice said: “The governments of Latin America will need help to realise their potential and commit to ambitious climate action. This meeting should reflect on the vast mitigation and adaptation potential the region has to offer, where Governments are ready to lead, and how international support on  finance and technology could be mobilised to raise ambition further.

“Already, the impacts from climate change are being felt in every part of the region. So, not only must we increase our collective adaptation efforts, but we must also learn from the experiences of others with a view to taking immediate and exponential climate action.’’

At the meeting, WWF will launch a new briefing document, The Case for Ambition: Practical lessons for enhancing NDCs in Latin America,” highlighting practical case studies from the region.

The case studies present learnings from Peru, Colombia, México, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Costa Rica on the implementation of their climate commitments (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs). WWF believes that such experiences can inspire other countries to take domestic action to tackle challenges that are common to countries in the region:

In Peru, Indigenous Peoples are contributing to the reduction of deforestation in the Amazon through an innovative finance mechanism and the establishment of a local strategy to enhance the government’s climate commitment in the land use sector.

  • In Colombia, civil society organisations are providing technical support to government to expand and strengthen the management of protected areas.
  • In Mexico and Argentina, local coalitions comprising academic, business and local governments are working to promote climate actions under the banner of the global Alliances for Climate Action initiative.
  • In Brazil, the focus is on an initiative by civil society, environmental organisations and research centres to get companies to adopt and implement effective policies and commitments to eliminate conversion of native vegetation for crop and livestock production in the Cerrado savanna.
  • In Chile, scaling up electromobility in public transportation is a collective effort between government, business and institutions from the transport sector.
  • In Costa Rica, the pioneering commitment to a zero-carbon economy has led the country to be one of the first in the world to enhance electricity production, relying only on  renewable energy.

Fernanda Carvalho, Global Policy Manager of WWF’s Climate & Energy Practice, said: “The Latin America and Caribbean region can play a strong role in tackling the climate crisis. This can and must happen through the coordinated efforts of governments at all levels, businesses, academia, civil society, local communities and Indigenous Peoples. Countries in the region will have the opportunity to show their climate leadership both at the Climate Summit in September and at COP25 in Santiago.’’ 


WWF will have a small delegation at the meeting, led by WWF’s global climate and energy practice leader Manuel Pulgar-Vidal (he is also former President of COP20 and former Minister of Environment for Peru). Fernanda Carvahlo, WWF’s global climate and energy policy manager will also attend. 

The delegation will participate in several events, specifically:

-Side Event - Monday 19 August 12h30 -13h25 (GMT-3)

Nature at the Heart of the Climate and Sustainable Development Agenda

Location: Room SDG 6 

-Workshop - Monday 19 August, 14h30 - 18h00 (GMT-3)

Science-Based Targets: Why and How to Engage?

Location: SDG Room 11

-Thematic Bloc on Infrastructure - Wednesday, 21 August, 10h00 - 12h25 (GMT-3)

Cities & Local Action(Urban Areas & Informal Settlements coordinated by WWF and The Global Alliance for Building and Construction

Location: Room SDG 1

-Thematic Bloc on Nature-Based Solutions - Wednesday, 2 August, 13h30 -15h55 (GMT-3)

-Agriculture and Land Management coordinated by UNDP with WWF and others as supporting organisations.

Location: Room SDG 8

-High-Level Plenary session - Wednesday, 21 August, from 14h30-15h40 (GMT-3)

Carbon Markets and Pricing (World Bank and IETA are hosts; Manuel Pulgar-Vidal is a guest speaker)

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