Latin America Carbon Forum: Low Carbon Development is the Future
“We are heading towards a global low carbon economy. Governments must continue to keep further defining the international policy framework to facilitate this transformation, while mobilizing the private sector, which has the most access to innovation and the investment capital needed for this transformation,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the 6th Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum.
More than 900 developers of low carbon projects, financiers, the private sector, forestry specialists and government agencies from more than 46 countries came together to discuss how best to achieve low-carbon development. The 3-day event included discussions on the state of the carbon markets, including existing mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and on emerging approaches for scaled-up mitigation efforts such as REDD+ and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and how they link to Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS).
“Our threats are not of a military nature, but social and environmental. Using a triple bottom line approach which successfully combines economy, ecology and equity, we will position our country as a front runner of eco-competitiveness,” said René Castro, Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications of Costa Rica.
For more than 10 years, the CDM, as well as other voluntary offset schemes have provided a vast pool of public and private sector experiences and expertise. It will now be important to learn from these lessons for the future global and national climate change regime.
Countries and cities showcased how they integrate the reduction of greenhouse gases into their development planning and implementation. Participants realized that it is possible to achieve national goals while at the same time mitigating climate change. But, a lot of learning is still necessary when designing LEDS and identifying, structuring and implementing NAMAs.
“The World Bank Institute (WBI) will continue to provide cutting-edge learning around low carbon development and help to create network of practitioners so that countries can learn better from each other’s experiences. South-south knowledge exchange is the most effective way of learning,” said Marcos Castro who manages carbon finance programs at WBI.
The biggest concern among participants was the lack of international policy signals and guidance needed to enlarge the global carbon market and make it more effective. The showcasing of emerging current national-level actions and initiatives was seen as a positive signal in this context.
The Latin American Carbon Forum was organized by WBI’s Climate Change practice in partnership with the UNFCCC, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE), International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
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