What is the outlook for reaching a deal at the December meeting? How much have Latin American countries committed to fight climate change, and how much should they be doing relative to more developed and more polluting countries, such as the United States and China? What role should the private sector play in a the climate debate, and would an agreement change the way that companies do business in Latin America and the Caribbean?
"A new global climate deal to be wrapped up this December, which will come into force from 2020, will likely have major implications for Latin America. It could include a long-term goal to reduce global emissions and promote building resilience to climate impacts, and how rich countries will support developing countries. A strong deal is critical for Latin America’s future as uncontrolled emissions will accelerate impacts that could sabotage the economy. The region plays very important roles at the U.N. climate talks and offers potential solutions. Brazil has made impressive reductions in deforestation and associated emissions, while Mexico and others are advancing policies to stem emissions and promote renewable energy. But in the face of competing priorities, these policies are sometimes undermined or ignored. The region accounts for 9.5 percent of global emissions, but its average per capita emissions are higher than most developing countries and some in Europe. An ambitious climate deal would signal the end of business as usual. Emissions from energy and agriculture represent an expanding share of the region’s portfolio so these sectors need cleaning up. Big opportunities exist in the areas of clean energy, sustainable transportation, protecting biodiversity and energy efficiency, which are good for the economy and citizens. Developed countries must support the region, but the latter needs to attract more low-carbon investment. Latin America requires private sector champions to back a sustainable development agenda to help diversify the region’s economies away from fossil fuels and engage on how a climate deal will affect the region."