Argentina's National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment

We interviewed Carlos Amanquez about Argentina's National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment.

How is the Republic of Argentina approaching its National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment and what role does it play in the country's climate policy architecture?

The National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment of the Argentine Republic  has become a fundamental tool in the process of planning and increasing the country's climate ambition. Based on the Strategy, we consider that as a country it is essential to strengthen skills and capacities to be able to implement the measures we are designing today to address climate change. In this regard, it is essential to be able to promote a cross-cutting process with the whole of society in order to address the challenges with the urgency required by the problem. 

Something fundamental about the elements that make up the strategy and the cross-cutting approaches is that, on the one hand, in addition to the six elements of ACE, we have added one more, which is "culture", thinking that these transformations that we have to carry out are long-term, long-lasting processes, and that the transformation that we seek behind all of this is precisely to modify our development scheme, our conception and paradigm of life, and to be able to begin to move towards sustainable development in a much more effective way.

Equally relevant are the cross-cutting approaches, which allow us to somehow move on to issues that we have to consider in a transcendental way in the process, both in the design and implementation of actions. On the one hand, we have those related to gender and diversity: we cannot continue to promote inequality and poverty from a gender perspective. So, in this sense, we also have to achieve a balance in matters of gender and diversity, because there are sectors that are strongly affected by the situation of climate change.

To this we add the issues of interculturality, taking advantage of ancestral knowledge, the knowledge of indigenous communities, achieving the inclusion of neglected sectors in the process of consolidating national climate policy, and the federal approach: Argentina is a federal country with 24 national states. We believe that climate action and the implementation of the measures that have been established through national planning are achieved with the contribution of each of the country's jurisdictions and local governments. So this federal approach allows us to have a broad vision of the whole territory and its realities. 

And finally, something that is fundamental because we want to transition to sustainable development and climate action: we cannot do it if we leave people out. The just employment transition is an approach that allows us to generate the labour skills that are required for this transition, always including all the people, and making the transformation happen across all sectors and with all actors in a balanced and planned way. 

How has the participatory process been developed for the preparation of this ENACE of the Argentine Republic?

The participatory process of the National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment - which is something that for us has been a very strong process of creation and creativity - was distributed in two instances. On the one hand, in all the planning instances of Argentina's national climate policy, specifically through the National Climate Change Cabinet, where the federal governments, civil society organisations, the External Advisory Council, made up of seven strategic sectors of the country, and also all the ministries of the National Public Administration participate. With this we have a strong participation of different sectors and actors, particularly those who make decisions for the population as a whole, which is the State: entities for consultation, participation, involvement of programmes and so on. And, on the other hand, we cannot make a Climate Empowerment Action Strategy without including the citizenry. Therefore, the process was oriented towards generating all possible methodologies to involve as many people as possible, talking directly with communities and indigenous peoples, working with trade union sectors, universities, study centres, students..., involving for the first time a public consultation for an effective participation process, which at this very moment we are developing and in which more than 150 people from all over the country have participated, contributing content to the seven elements that make up the popular pathway.

We also held workshops at the federal level, accompanying the implementation of the Integrated Environmental Education Act of the Argentine Republic, which is a recent law, because we believe that they are sister processes, and that they go hand in hand there. We achieved the regional involvement of all the provinces and all the states of the country, and we also generated workshops with civil society organisations to advance in the same process.

Ultimately, in all instances, both in planning instituted by law and in processes that drive sustainable development, we have promoted the involvement of ACE as a fundamental strategy for advancing climate ambition and action.

How do you assess the development of the territorial workshops in terms of their contribution to the ENACE?

The outcome of the workshops has been very interesting for the process of building the strategy, particularly because it highlights issues that we need to consider. For example, issues related to the just labour transition have come out of these workshops, as well as the need to promote much more effective and assertive communication in order to achieve greater citizen involvement. And, on the other hand, the importance of the participation of organisations and the education system, because they are the ones who manage, in a long-term process, not only to promote, but also to sustain these processes that involve climate action. 

Thus the conclusion has been that we must continue to generate much more participation, that we have to expand the educational community with formal and non-formal education, with parents, with students, with educators, and always with a federal perspective: from one end of the country to the other, to have these visions represented in a fundamental scheme of work. And the result has been very good. 

And also, something that adds to this and that seems fundamental to me, is this constant need that we see in Argentina, and that we also share with other countries, of achieving a much broader awareness of what Action for Climate Empowerment is, believing today, even from the Argentine Republic, that it is the main element that will allow us to implement these marvellous plans that we have been making for climate change.

Thus, the Action for Climate Empowerment Strategy as such becomes essential to the whole process. 

How is the articulation between institutions and ministries in the country for the design and implementation of the ENACE working?

The truth is that it happened in a good way in the implementation of the new Law on Integral Environmental Education in the Argentine Republic. We believe that the National Action Strategy for Climate Empowerment and the National Strategy for Environmental Education are processes that fortunately run in parallel and are also related.

We have managed to value environmental education as a component within the education element of ACE in Argentina and, in this same framework, we have been able to share working committees, coordinate technical teams, raise awareness in all the articulated entities... Therefore, today we can give greater certainty that the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Environment, and the provinces are involved in the entire process in an articulated way.

In fact, the workshops, for both the ENACE and the Integrated Environmental Education Law, have been carried out jointly, we have shared the same authorities, the same benchmarks, and we have involved the organisations in the same process. So today there is full certainty that the process will take place and will undoubtedly be sustained over time.

Carlos Amanquez, General Coordinator of the National Cabinet on Climate Change Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina

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