COP24: a key moment for Latin America

With two side events on December 8, during the COP24 in Katowice, Poland, EUROCLIMA+ managed to open a discussion with the attendees of both meetings.

We are at a key moment for increasing the level of climate ambition

At a key moment like this one, where it is necessary to move towards compliance with the Paris Agreement and the climate commitments (NDCs) assumed by the countries, urgent actions are needed to increase the ambition of the NDCs and guide the development of the countries towards low-carbon climate-resilient economies.

In this context, the European Union funded EUROCLIMA+ Programme organised two side events on December 8, during COP24 in Katowice, Poland, with the aim of answering certain questions about what is working in Latin America in terms of implementation of the Paris Agreement and country climate commitments? How can contributions be made to this goal from a sector such as sustainable urban mobility?

Increasing ambition: a mission for Latin America

Knowing that the current NDCs are not enough to keep the rise in global warming below 1.5° C - according to the latest Report on the Emissions Gap from UN Environment, the emissions reduction target must be increased fivefold - and knowing the principal actors and challenges that Latin America and the Caribbean face in the implementation of their NDCs, how can we achieve greater ambition in the commitments and climate action in the region? What is working in countries like Costa Rica and Colombia in terms of Paris Agreement and NDC implementation?

“At ECLAC we have calculated the decarbonisation rate for the region at two degrees per year, but if we want to reach the 1.5o target, the speed should be tripled in the next five years,” said Jimy Ferrer, the ECLAC representative on the panel.

“We are at a key moment for increasing the level of climate ambition, there has been a lot of progress in the region in recent years,” added Horst Pilger, Head of Sector, European Union.

“In the case of Colombia, we are in an information exchange process between NDC implementation targets and the way these are grounded in intersectoral projects,” explained Edgar Cruz, representative of Colombia’s Planning Department. For her part, Andrea Meza, director of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, said that in Costa Rica the goals have been identified and agreements have been signed to reduce emissions; and in a later step, agreements were incorporated into intersectoral budgets. All are focused on meeting the targets in each sector.

“Given the challenge of increasing ambition in climate action in Latin America, it is essential to promote sectoral and multilevel coordination, develop long-term plans and create the conditions to attract resources from the private sector. The identification of best practices and exchanges between peers is an important contribution in this regard,” commented Silvia Brugger, GIZ representative for the EUROCLIMA+ climate governance component.

Promoting sustainable urban mobility in Latin American cities

Urban transport has been a sector that shows a continuous increase in greenhouse gas emissions, but it has good potential to reduce them and contribute significantly to the Paris Agreement target. Digitisation, vehicle and travel sharing models, as well as electric mobility are issues that have not yet been developed on a large scale in our region.

Therefore, EUROCLIMA+ is committed to promoting sustainable mobility through the implementation of 19 urban mobility projects with local and national authorities in Latin America, facilitating national-local articulation for better climate governance. PLATMUS, a platform where 14,000 Latin American municipalities will be able to learn from each other's most successful experiences will be launched on January 15. Finally, EUROCLIMA+ will support the Regional Dialogue of Ministers on Electric Mobility, by providing support and policy guidelines for future plans to be developed in the region.

“Latin America is one of the most urbanised regions in the world and this trend will continue to increase in the coming years. Despite this, transport systems have not evolved at the same pace. EUROCLIMA+ supports the region in moving towards sustainable mobility. This is one of the seven areas in which the programme has been working since 2017,” explained Horst Pilger of the European Union.

On the current and potential situation of urban mobility in Latin America, Niklas Hagelberg, Global Coordinator of Climate Change for UN Environment, explained that this region has characteristics that make it a viable scenario for sustainable urban mobility. “The fact that most of the population lives in urban centres, the high use of public transport and a high index of renewable energy in the energy matrix make Latin America an excellent scenario for sustainable mobility,” Hagelberg added.

Finally, progress made in actions towards sustainable mobility in Costa Rica, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina was presented.

“Transportation is the second sector in emissions in Chile, we already have 100 electric buses in Santiago and in January another 100 will arrive. Within short-term commitments, we expect to have 2000 buses by 2022. By 2050 we expect that 100% of public transport and 40% of private transportation will be electric,” commented Carolina Urmeneta, Head of the Climate Change Office in Chile’s Ministry of the Environment.

For her part, Alicia Riviera from the Municipality of Córdoba-Argentina, explained that together with the EUROCLIMA+ programme they are carrying out a pilot project that aims to contribute to emission reductions. “Argentina wants to reduce more than 6 million tons of carbon from the transport sector and in Cordoba 32% of emissions come from transport,” the official added.

In the case of Costa Rica, Andrea Meza commented: “In small countries, with municipalities of 20,000 inhabitants, access to the latest technologies is a limitation. That's why we promote regional-scale approaches and also talk with companies, so that technology is available to us.”


EUROCLIMA+ is a programme funded by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and UN Environment.


Contact: Alexandra Cortés, EUROCLIMA+ programme: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.