Latin America and the Caribbean can tell the world that it is possible to fight climate change

Mariana Panuncio is Director for Climate Change of the Latin America and Caribbean Programme of WWF; she coordinates the actions of mitigation and adaptation to climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean. This paper is a contribution to the EU-­LAC Foundation’s Newsletter edition of December 2014 dedicated to the theme Climate Change. 


Latin America and the Caribbean, a region that comprises more than 40 countries, with different political, varied economies and diverse visions on how to face the effects of global warming, does not negotiate as a group in climate summits.

Nevertheless, the region shares a common vulnerability to climate change and the leadership potential to face it. The region has the chance to be a driving force at the Conference of the Parts of the Framework Convention of Climate Change (COP) that will take place in Lima, where its countries have the possibility to speak as one, in a constructive and purposeful way. And the good news is it has enough credibility to do so. In spite of the many challenges that wait to be addressed, it has shown prominent efforts in adopting ambitious measures to fight climate change.

The REDD+ agenda was introduced by Costa Rica and New Guinea at the Montreal COP in 2005. In 2010 the COP was hosted in Cancun, where the mexican government managed to boost the negotiations after the failed summit that took place the year before at Copenhague. Important achievements, such as the establishment of the Green Climate Fund, to which Mexico just contributed with the sum of 10 million dollars, were achieved in Cancun. (read paper)