Life at the centre for Earth Day

We recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; it is the 50th anniversary of its celebration and, although it may not seem to be as current as in other years, it is more current than ever.

«The contents of this note are the sole responsibility of its author, Beatriz García-Pozuelo, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the views of the European Union»

04.23.2020 Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Statements broadcast on Radio Cultura’s Hola Europa radio programme on the occasion of the celebration of Earth Day.

Beatriz Garcia-Pozuelo. FIIAPP senior technician for the EUROCLIMA+ programme, a European Union cooperation programme on climate change aimed at Latin America...

We recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day; it is the 50th anniversary of its celebration and, although it may not seem to be as current as in other years, it is more current than ever. The current crisis that we are going through at a global level because of COVID-19, reminds us that life is at risk, and this is also the case with the climate crisis. Our ecosystems and their ecosystem functions are being damaged, and this is affecting all societies on the planet, and most obviously in Latin America, which is a highly vulnerable region. The European Union is very committed to climate change. It shows this with its commitments to the Paris Agreement, its international commitments, but also now more than ever with the Green Deal, this "Green Agreement" which, in this framework of post-health crisis recovery, wants to transform the way we grow and create jobs, towards a greener and more resilient economy.

In this area, in which the European Union deeply values the external role of its commitments, one of them is very specific to Latin America: the EUROCLIMA+ bi-regional cooperation programme. This year, 2020, the programme celebrates its tenth anniversary, and it has always worked hand in hand with Latin American governments to define the needs that an institutional cooperation programme can support, focusing on a demand orientation, understanding the gaps that Latin American countries face in order to comply with the Paris agreement with this ambition that the European Union has as a latent one.

EUROCLIMA+ is a bi-regional cooperation programme between Latin America and the European Union that we implement through five national cooperation agencies with the greatest expertise in Europe, and two regional agencies of the United Nations, to support Latin American countries in their climate change commitments. Spanish cooperation agencies such as FIIAPP and AECID participate, as do Germany's GIZ, and France's AFD group. From the United Nations, we are also accompanied by the UN Environment Agency and ECLAC.

It is clear that we need to improve our framework of policies, laws, standards, measures, targets and the monitoring of them all, in order to improve the response to climate change, to mitigate the effects of climate change in each of the societies and economies, and also to adapt to the effects it is already having, in a widespread way. That is why the programme focuses on strengthening these public policies, on strengthening climate financing as well - how Latin America and its instructions can improve access to this financing, which is clearly and evidently necessary to address change - but also on strengthening institutions, capacities, and ensuring that climate action reaches all levels of society and relevant actors, so that this becomes a State policy. And also, with clear elements on how women are more affected or participate in these climate change policies and laws that are being proposed, the most vulnerable communities on a continent where the participation of indigenous communities for example is very relevant.

EUROCLIMA+, at the level of the Latin American region, is working in an area that is currently very relevant, the long-term climate strategies (LTS). The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the need for countries to commit to a reduction in their emissions and an increase in their long-term climate commitments, and to do so in the year 2020. Therefore, several Latin American countries, with the support of EUROCLIMA+, are working on strengthening and creating those strategies that will allow us to project this society of each country to the year 2050: what measures need to be implemented, which sectors need to be transformed and how they will be articulated, promoting the participation of all actors to transform this society and this economy. And within this framework, we are working with different cooperation agencies to implement a response that will allow us to create shared frameworks, tools that work and are comparable in different countries, in order to project these emissions and be able to reduce the impact of Latin America on climate change.

EUROCLIMA+ IN ARGENTINA 

With regard to the initiatives that the EUROCLIMA+ programme is carrying out in Argentina, there are several very relevant areas that have to do with mobility, such as, for example, in the city of Cordoba "How to move towards more sustainable mobility models and also lower emissions" or the issues of resilience in the Chaco on how to promote production models that both conserve and protect resources.

One initiative that we developed from the FIAPP foundation, has to do with one of the sectors that means more emissions in the country. According to Argentina's 2017 greenhouse gas emissions inventory, 20 percent of these emissions are related to the livestock sector. That is why we are working with the national government, but especially with the sub-national government of Salta, to implement measures that mitigate, that reduce emissions, in the livestock sector of Salta province. This is done with a multitude of tools, which are those that characterise the EUROCLIMA+ programme, which have to do with the collection of information, with the participation of relevant sectors, which manage to disseminate and raise awareness among these actors, increasing capacities and being able to define public policy measures that clearly establish how the region is going to move towards lower emissions from the livestock sector. What must be implemented to reduce these emissions.

In the aspects of climate change, sub-national governments and especially the large cities in Latin America, are key players because of the weight they have at the regional level in emissions, because of the population they represent, and because of the pollution problems that also have implications for health. That is why we believe that the empowerment processes, as well as in this case at the subnational level the province of Salta, but at a general level, they are going to allow us to have a society more aware of the impacts and consequences that climate change has, to act collectively with more tools in this very important crisis that we face, which is the climate crisis that underlies this current context, but that is going to remain and that we need to address collectively.

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EUROCLIMA letra blanca peqEUROCLIMA+ is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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