Last week marks the end of The Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week 2018, hosted in Montevideo, Uruguay. It was the first international summit under the Nairobi Framework Partnership, which was founded by the late Kofi Annan, whose recent passing shook the global community, and was met with an outpour of tributes from leaders around the world.
Kofi Annan’s concept for the Nairobi Framework Partnership, founded in 2006, is an extremely important one – and should be applied to global issues beyond climate change. While the purpose of the framework is to support “developing countries in preparing and implementing their plans to address climate change under the Paris Climate Change Agreement” – its strategy is one the international community must consider and embrace more widely, for many of the world’s pressing crises. By strengthening the links between governments, the private sector, and the developing world – the framework seeks to more effectively and efficiently tackle the complex issue of global warming.
This concept of multilateral, multi-sector collaboration is not new to the world of international relations – but it is one that rarely gets the investment in time or resources it deserves. When we analyse many of todays most pressing global issues, from the refugee crisis to nuclear disarmament, there is often a stark absence of input from valuable sources. Academics, scientists and business leaders are regularly excluded from diplomatic platforms that could really use an “outsider’s perspective”. And while major global moments such as the annual World Economic Forum in Davos aim to bring together stakeholders from across the globe and across many industries to address the issues of the world, every year what we mostly see is headlines about the stifling bureaucracy of the “global elite”.
What this week’s summit in Latin America showed is that this concept of multidimensional collaboration can have a meaningful impact. The week in Uruguay brought together a diverse array of international stakeholders in the public and private sectors to discuss global warming, and much was achieved, particularly with regards to the transparency of achievements and commitments of countries. According to the United National Environment Programme, as a result of the Summit, “Chile is developing a centralised national climate information platform and Costa Rica is working on a strategic climate planning unit, while Argentina will craft a greenhouse gas inventory system”.
Notable strides in tackling climate change are particularly important for Latin America and Caribbean. With two great oceans on either side, the region is especially vulnerable to extreme weather and natural disasters. From Hurricane Irma to Hurricane Maria in 2017, the devastating toll of these events cannot be overlooked or ignored.
The Summit used the opportunity of gathered specialists from around the world the discuss several climate-friendly innovations, from transport to waste, carbon pricing and low emission infrastructure. Eneida De Leon, Minister of Housing, Land Planning and Environment of Uruguay said: “For Uruguay, as well as for the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean, the response to climate change is a priority for our public policies. In this regard, we welcome the celebration of this event, in which we hope to exchange and work to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement in our region.”
Latin American and Caribbean countries generate around 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and it is considered one of the regions with the greatest potential for decarbonisation. Dedicating a week to bringing together ideas from scientists, politicians, students, business leaders and more – and focusing tangibly on not only how each country can realise this potential – but how they can help one another, is a testament to modern day, and global, problem-solving.
And next month will see more great minds gathering for the Global Climate Action Summit in California and New York Climate Week. Amongst all of the world’s current instability, it is promising to see that at least climate change is bringing together individuals from different specialities backgrounds – a strategy that should be applied to many of our other crises.