Latin America faces two major challenges. First, despite having achieved considerable success in reducing extreme poverty over the past decades, Brazil has recently returned to the hunger map and Latin America is the most unequal region in the world. Safeguarding this process and ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth is central and a priority for all cities and regions in Latin America.
Second, cities in the Global South are the ones that suffer the most from the effects of major crises such as pandemics and climate-related disasters despite contributing significantly less to global warming. Adaptation policies at territories that ensure equity and justice are essential for local and regional governments.
In this scenario, debates and negotiations on loss and damage mechanisms at COP27, in the upcoming conferences and multilateral debates are crucial for cities in Latin America.
Mayors in Latin America and the Caribbean are at the forefront living eye to eye with the people who suffer from these crises and have become jugglers to find solutions.
It is acknowledged that as emergencies increase day by day, better planning and capacity-building are necessary in our region, but now it is time for implementation!
Latin America has a very important role to play to unlock opportunities with multi stakeholder consensus, on both technical and financial.
There is a need to act now and the territories in the region have been pushing hard showcasing political, social and economic engagement at COP, strengthening subnational and local governments on the climate agenda. Such at city level as the ones presented by Avellaneda energy efficiency policy, Palmas waste management project, São Paulo’s green jobs program, the climate governance established in Niterói, the food security experiences advancing in Maricá, Quito’s nature based solutions strategy, Independencia and Peñalolen in water management, at regional level such as Pernambuco or Minas Gerais climate plans, and local, regional and national commitments to combat illegal deforestation and substantially reduce emissions.
COP27 has been a great opportunity for networking and to present this actions to potential partners. As well, it has been a great platform to exchange with other cities and regions in the world, mainly with Africa and Asia as Global South regions. Finally, the SURGe initiative presented by the COP27 Presidency offers a great opportunity to coordinate together with Urban and Climate National Ministers on this challenges.
COP has been a great experience for SAMS associates and the message remains : we still need to be central in the global debates and decision making, we have not time left and with the support of the national governments and the international community, we can keep on the spirit of the Paris Agreement.