Skip to main content

Brazil flag river climate change Global Environment Facility/Baljit Wadhwa/Flickr

Latin America’s Climate Vanguard

Latin American countries can take the lead on framing a new climate change agreement at the UN's upcoming climate conference in Lima. Indeed, by enacting laws that reduce greenhouse-gas emissions while encouraging economic growth, the region can set an example for the rest of the world.

SANTIAGO – Latin America may have weathered the global economic slowdown, but for many, the potential impact of global warming, and the measures required to avoid its worst effects, may undermine the region’s fragile political, economic, and social balance – and roll back years of progress.

But economic prosperity and action to mitigate climate change need not be mutually exclusive. Indeed, the current election cycle in Latin America, coupled with the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in December in Lima, Peru, provide an opportunity for the region to show how countries can benefit from a low-carbon economy, reduce climate risks, and build long-term prosperity.

Latin American countries are not starting from scratch. Most governments are already crafting policies and drafting legislation on climate change. Mexico was the first emerging country to pass a comprehensive climate-change law, in 2012, targeting a 30% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020. Brazil recently succeeded in reducing Amazonian deforestation, and net carbon-dioxide emissions have dropped significantly as a result. Uruguay plans to generate 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015, while Chile aims to generate 20% of its power with renewable energy by 2025.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/YBzPlU8;
  1. benami155_ Ilia Yefimovichpicture alliance via Getty Images_netanyahu Ilia Yefimovich/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

    The Last Days of Netanyahu?

    Shlomo Ben-Ami

    In Israel's recent parliamentary election, voters stopped Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's leadership of the country toward xenophobic theocracy. But Israel now faces a period of political deadlock, and it remains to be seen whether Netanyahu really will be politically sidelined.

    2
  2. oneill66_getty images_world Getty Images

    The Return of Fiscal Policy

    Jim O'Neill

    With interest rates at record lows and global growth set to continue decelerating, there has rarely been a better time for governments to invest in infrastructure and other sources of long-term productivity growth. The only question is whether policymakers in Germany and elsewhere will seize the opportunity now staring them in the face.

    1

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions