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Biden’s Climate Opportunity in Latin America

As Latin America inches toward a post-pandemic recovery, it is vital that the region’s governments align their rebuilding strategies with their commitments under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The United States could help make that happen.

WASHINGTON, DC – Relations between the United States and much of Latin America are recovering after hitting rock bottom under former US President Donald Trump. But while President Joe Biden’s administration is focusing on the Central American migration crisis, it must not miss the opportunity to drive urgently needed climate action to help the region rebuild after the pandemic.

Given the scale of Latin America’s economic collapse in 2020 – its 7.4% GDP contraction was the worst of any region – most of its national leaders did not dwell much on climate change. Argentina, Mexico, and Peru have yet to direct a single dollar of recovery spending toward reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution, according to the Oxford University Economic Recovery Project. Instead, vast sums have gone to the region’s fossil-fuel industries.

Today, as Latin America inches toward recovery, it is vital that the region’s governments align their rebuilding strategies with their commitments under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The US could help make that happen.

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