05 June 2022
Posteado en : Interview
Indigenous peoples occupy 22% of the world's territory and their role is essential for the maintenance of cultural diversity and biodiversity, according to UNESCO.
The nature managed by these communities is declining less rapidly than in other areas, as they work to protect the environment over the long term through sustainable use of biodiversity management and governance. However, they are the most affected by the effects of climate change.
The lands they manage account for 28% of the carbon stored in forests globally. Annually, they sequester an amount of CO2 equivalent, on average, to 30% of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru’s 2030 targets. These countries store 28% of the world’s carbon, but account for only 5.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns of the loss of ecosystems and the decrease in food production and access to food, which has led to an increase in malnutrition and has seriously affected the economy of these indigenous communities.
Climate policies have traditionally ignored the ancestral knowledge and wisdom of indigenous peoples, which is why 141 governments committed at COP26 in Glasgow to recognise the rights of these communities and their lands as a fundamental element in ending deforestation by 2030. Now Peru is launching an Indigenous Peoples’ Platform to address climate change.
It thus becomes a pioneer country in the recognition of indigenous knowledge and practices that contribute to the comprehensive management of climate change, as established in the Paris Agreement.
FIIAPP supports this Platform
We spoke with Teresa Aguilar and Álvaro Ovejas, Project Technicians in the European programme Euroclima+, co-led by the FIIAPP, which has supported the formation of this Platform. They tell us about the challenges in the implementation of this proposal and the great benefits it brings. This is the first time that the Peruvian Ministries of Culture and Environment have come together with the country’s indigenous peoples.
How was the Platform of Indigenous Peoples of Peru born to confront climate change?
Teresa: This Platform was born out of the indigenous people’s own demand and brings together the seven registered and legalised indigenous organisations in the country. It is a milestone on the Latin American continent because it brings together indigenous peoples of different casuistry, ethnicities and origins.
Álvaro: The Platform gives indigenous peoples a voice in climate governance bodies, such as the National Commission. In addition, Peru is a ratifier of ILO Convention 169, which establishes the obligation to consult indigenous peoples in all political and legal measures that could directly affect them.
What have been the main challenges in setting up this platform?
Teresa: The first challenge has been linguistic. The different indigenous peoples cannot understand each other, because not everyone speaks Spanish, only the political leaders. They speak five native languages such as Quechua, Aymara, Shipibo and Awajún. We have also faced the territorial challenge. It is not easy to move around in a country like Peru, and these are people who do not have access to digitalisation either.
How does climate change affect indigenous women the most?
Teresa: The indigenous population, because of their origin, is a rural population and their livelihoods depend on natural resources. Therefore, climate change directly affects their economic activity.
The impact of climate change is aggravated and is more disproportionate for women, who are already discriminated against and vulnerable. They are socially responsible for food and household health and, living in rural environments, their livelihoods are based on fishing, livestock, agriculture or agroforestry management. The impact of climate change degrades their economy, and we are already seeing climate migration in the face of environmental disasters caused by climate change.
What has been the role of the European programme Euroclima and the FIIAPP in the construction of the Platform?
Álvaro: Euroclima has been involved from the beginning of this process. It started with the prior consultation with indigenous peoples on the Framework Law on Climate Change, which agreed, among other provisions, on the creation of this Platform. It was during the development of the Framework Law on Climate Change that direct collaboration between Euroclima and the Peruvian Ministry of Environment began.
On the one hand, we have supported the development of dialogues between the Peruvian Ministry of Environment and national organisations. And on the other hand, we have supported the process of creating the entire legal, regulatory and institutional framework that gives the Platform its place.
Why are indigenous peoples known as guardians of diversity?
Álvaro: The way of life of indigenous peoples is not only very rural, but does not require the same infrastructure that is used in cities. Their routine is much more adapted to the environment.
Teresa: I think that the guardians of nature are undoubtedly the people who have originally grown up and lived in it. It is their ecosystem and they know it perfectly, it is what is called ancestral knowledge.
Is this initiative in Peru a reference for other Latin American countries?
Teresa: Peru is now a country that others look up to. There are countries that could replicate it because the Peruvian experience is scalable. All of Latin America has an indigenous population, but political will is needed. It all depends on the nature of the country and how this indigenous figure is received by governments.
There is also talk of indigenous associations at the regional level, such as those in the Amazon. The Amazon Basin has great value in terms of forests and the environment; it is the lungs of the planet and touches several countries. Therefore, we are no longer talking about a national platform, but a transnational one. When you talk to regional indigenous associations, their dream is to have a platform that unites them at the regional level.
28 January 2021
“Just” – for whom? And a “transition” – to where? We analyse the concept and explain the contribution of EUROCLIMA+ with Cecilia Castillo, FIIAPP colleague and director of climate governance in the programme.
What is a Just Transition? Let’s break it down bit by bit.
Transition (Noun): The action and effect of passing from one mode of being, or of doing things, to another. This is how the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines it and it is what the planet needs. Changing from a carbon-based economic model to a different one which is based on a decarbonised economy.
But what does this mean?
Although it seems like yesterday, six years have passed since reaching the milestone in the fight against climate change that was the historic signing in 2015 of the Paris Agreement. In other words, it was in Paris where a decision was taken about something that was agreed on by several persons. (This is how the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines the word agreement). In the case that concerns us, the common decision was taken by several countries. Specifically 180, including Spain, China, France and the United States, which has just rejoined the agreement after the arrival of Joe Biden at the White House.
The Paris Agreement establishes a global framework in order that the planet and its inhabitants avoid dangerous climate change. How? Through the commitment made by signatories regarding global warming, in other words, that the temperature of the planet does not increase by more than 2°C and, if possible, is limited to at most an increase of 1.5°C.
Why is this significant? Because we know that the adverse effects of climate change derive from global warming. From warming caused by the emission into the atmosphere of greenhouse gases that is in turn a consequence of relying on carbon-based economies.
Therefore, to comply with the Paris Agreement, it is necessary to move from a carbon-based economic model to a different one based on a decarbonised economy. But what does decarbonise mean? ‘The terms decarbonise and decarbonisation are the correct ones to use when referring to the process of reducing carbon emissions, especially in the form of carbon dioxide‘. This is explained by the Foundation of Emerging Spanish ( Fundéu ) which it is advised by the RAE. The Fundéu also says:
‘Decarbonise is not the opposite of carbonise, a verb related to carbon, but rather refers to the process by which countries or other entities try to achieve a low-carbon emission economy’.
How can we make that transition?
According to the director of the Climate Governance area in the EUROLIMA+ programme, we must change the way we produce, the way we travel and the way we consume: ‘Decarbonisation can be achieved in different ways. Each country, depending on its particularities, will aim for a zero net emissions goal by tackling sectors with the greatest potential for reducing emissions: transport, building, industry, agriculture, forests and biodiversity’, the specialist affirms. In general, some of the measures that Latin American governments are already taking include:
-Investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency
-Reducing fossil fuel subsidies and redirecting them to sustainable economic sectors and activities
-Taxing emissions to send the market a clear signal (for example, with the “polluter pays principle”)
-Committing to electric transport (public and private)
The transition to a neutral economy and the adoption of these measures directly affects economic sectors such as coal mining and can lead to the progressive decline of many other sectors related to energy or transport. That is why making this transition is an opportunity, but it also poses new challenges so that progressive change from one model to another is socially just, without leaving anyone behind.
For example, explains the director of Democratic Governance, ‘the decarbonisation process in Latin America may destroy 7.5 million jobs, with electricity no longer being produced from fossil fuels’. However, according to a Report carried out jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), such destruction of unsustainable jobs would be more than offset. ‘22.5 million jobs will be generated in renewable energy, new production of plant-derived food, forestry, construction and manufacturing’. Some examples of these new green jobs are in the field of organic farming, the sustainable rehabilitation of buildings, waste management, the protection and restoration of ecosystems, energy efficiency and renewable energies, among others.
For its part, the European Union (EU) has the European Green Deal, a roadmap to equip the EU with a sustainable economy that aspires to a climate neutral Europe by 2050 and outlines the necessary sustainable investments and financing tools available to ensure a just and inclusive transition that generates new jobs related to the promotion of renewable energies and more sustainable and resilient mobility and production models. In addition, the EU also has the Mechanism for a Just Transition (MTJ in its Spanish initials), a fundamental element which enables the transition to a climate neutral economy to be equitably carried out.
The EUROCLIMA+ programme
EUROCLIMA+ is the EU’s flagship programme for environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation in Latin America. Its objective is to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects on the continent. The programme works by assisting countries that are already beginning to address the just transition. The objective, during the process of transformation and green recovery, is to mitigate climate change while protecting the most vulnerable citizens and professionals. The latter being carried out through integration, creation, coordination, organisation and dialogue between the various sectors of energy, environment, work and social policies.
Currently, the programme is preparing the publication of a new study of topics, prepared by Teresa Cavero and Arantxa Guereña for FIIAPP, based on the analysis of the progress made in incorporating the Just Transition approach in national climate policies, taking into account the case study from six countries: Spain, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.
04 June 2020
FIIAPP takes part in World Environment Day by highlighting the EUROCLIMA+ programme, an example of more than 10 years of work to protect the environment and combat climate change
EUROCLIMA+ is a regional cooperation programme between the European Union and Latin America that addresses the challenges facing the region in light of the transformations that climate change is already causing. Its objective is to reduce its impact and its effects in the 18 partner countries, promoting mitigation and adaptation, resilience and sustainable investment in the region. Currently, the programme is implemented through a consortium made up of five EU Member State cooperation agencies (FIIAPP, AECID, GIZ, EF, and AFD) plus two United Nations agencies (UN Environment and ECLAC).
The signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016, the treaty promoted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with the goal of surpassing the Kyoto Protocol, with more ambitious targets in terms of reducing emissions and limiting temperature increases (below 2º, ideally 1.5º), requires the signatory countries to develop national plans to reduce GHG emission levels. These commitments must be reflected in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are reviewed every five years in order to further this ambition. The objective of the summit scheduled for 2020 in Glasgow, now postponed to 2021 due to the COVID19 epidemic, was to present these national reviews. Likewise, the commitments expressed in the NDCs must be accompanied by the design of climate plans and policies that guarantee they will be implemented, as well as transparency and accountability mechanisms vis-à-vis the rest of the parties to the Convention.
It is here that the EUROCLIMA+ Programme comes in, supporting actions that allow partner countries to fulfil the commitments reflected in their respective NDCs. Over these ten years, a significant number of actions and projects have been launched in order to support these processes, working at the request of the countries, preserving the horizontal relationships that characterise European cooperation, and promoting south-south cooperation to increase the impact with peer learning.
The work of the FIIAPP Foundation in this scenario has focused on four lines of action, out of the six the programme’s activity is currently structured into: Plans and Policies, Transparency and Data, Action for Climate Empowerment and Gender and Vulnerable Groups. All of them are approached with the objective of strengthening the governance of the countries by supporting them in developing their public policies, which is the hallmark of FIIAPP.
At FIIAPP, and within the framework of EUROCLIMA+, we have accompanied the process of preparing the draft Framework Law on Climate Change in Chile, which is currently being debated in congress and which we are hopeful will be passed, by supporting the preparation, participation and public consultation processes that the Chilean Ministry of the Environment launched with the aim of legitimising the law and feeding into the text contributions from the different levels of government, sectors and civil society. In addition, we have joined GIZ in supporting the development of the Long-Term Climate Strategy (LTS) that the country has just presented, linking us to the Action for Climate Empowerment component (Article 12 of the Paris Agreement), which includes the LTS.
Along the same lines, we are also supporting the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment in working with indigenous organisations. This involves providing support in consulting indigenous communities about the Regulation of the Framework Law on Climate Change, approved in January of this year. A broad process that deepens the need to incorporate citizen participation in legislative processes, and which will allow for greater appropriation by the population, creating demand for climate plans and policies for this purpose and which will result in the creation of a Indigenous Climate Platform, the second being implemented in the region.
In addition to working at the national level, we have supported and are supporting actions that include a regional, sub-regional and sub-national approach. This is the case of the work carried out in generating climate scenarios in Central America, in which we decisively contribute to the strengthening of climate services in these countries so that they can skilfully anticipate the impacts of climate change on their populations and economies. This work comes under the scope of adaptation, which promotes the use of meteorological data by developing collection, storage and presentation tools, providing training on how to use them, and developing climate models adapted to each country.
At the sub-national level, we are working on processes that have a broad impact on reducing emissions and are scalable to a national level. This is the case for the action ‘Development of a GHG Emission Reduction Plan in the Livestock Sector in Salta Province, Argentina’, which will allow one of the country’s most strategic sectors to adapt to the objectives set by Argentina in its NDCs. In addition, the plan will be able to be implemented in regions with similar characteristics.
Finally, FIIAPP is excelling in supporting the actions that the countries are beginning to design in the area of Action for Climate Empowerment (Article 6 of the UNFCCC, Article 12 of the Paris Agreement). We have started mapping the region, undertaking the thematic study ‘Action for Climate Empowerment and its Transformative Potential in Latin America’; we have begun supporting Chile, helping it to launch its first National Strategy for Climate Empowerment and Capacities, and we have also worked to support the educational component of ACE in Uruguay, in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment (MVOTMA) and the Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation.
FIIAPP has also been actively involved in implementing the methodology that, in its new phase, the EUROCLIMA+ programme will follow in relation to the countries: the Country Dialogue, a long-term support process aimed at identifying demand; balancing progress and support in updating plans and priorities for implementing and/or updating NDCs; coordinating the implementation of EUROCLIMA+ actions; and aligning EUROCLIMA+ actions with the EU’s political dialogue with the country. This methodology has been inspired by the one developed by EUROsociAL+, an EU programme for social cohesion in Latin America led by FIIAPP, as well as by the work of the NDC Partnership, commissioned by Germany’s economic cooperation ministry. Over the past few years, we have promoted its implementation and piloting in four countries, together with the German cooperation agency GIZ, which has provided us with very valuable knowledge that is proving to be fundamental in achieving a working methodology that translates the programme’s collaborative logic and philosophy into the results required to meet the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
26 March 2020
We commemorate World Meteorological Day, which is held on 23 March and which highlights the relationship between meteorology and climate change and the work of EUROCLIMA+ in this regard
Torrential rain and droughts are water-related meteorological phenomena, all increasingly extreme anywhere on the planet. This year, World Meteorological Day, under the heading of “climate and water”, is dedicated to these and other similar phenomena and focuses on the climate change effects which manifest themselves through water.
According to data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), humans cannot survive more than three days without water and there are currently 3 billion people worldwide who do not have basic facilities to wash their hands. Furthermore, knowing this, it must be taken into account that in the next 30 years the world demand for fresh water will increase between 20% and 30%.
With the aim of commemorating the creation of the WMO on 23 March 1950 within the UN, this day also serves to highlight the contribution made by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to the security and well-being of societies; and, why not, to reflect on the importance of meteorology in the global context of climate change in which we live today.
Water, a shared asset
Extreme meteorological phenomena, the result of the climate change we all experiencing worldwide, are one of the greatest global threats. Specifically, those related to water pose a major risk due to their impacts both on sustainable development and on people’s safety. According to the WMO Secretary General, Petteri Taalas, in the organisation’s statement about 23 March, “The changes in the global distribution of rainfall are having important repercussions in many countries. Sea levels are rising at an ever-increasing rate due to the melting of larger glaciers, such as those in Greenland and Antarctica. This is exposing coastal areas and islands to an increased risk of flooding and the submergence of low-lying areas.”
Rising rivers or floods are a source of peace and conflict, as most rivers and other freshwater areas cross borders, and decisions made by one country regarding the management of water resources often have an impact on other countries. In addition, food security is closely related to water: for example, the concentration of rainfall at certain times of the year or in certain places affects agriculture, movements and, ultimately, the survival of millions of people all around the world.
Ample evidence of the chosen heading’s international significance is to be found in the fact that water and climate are the cornerstones of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Clean water and sanitation) and 13 (Climate action), both included in the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, which contain the global priorities for the next 10 years.
Every drop counts for the EUROCLIMA+ project
As expressly detailed by the WMO, data on water resources are currently incomplete and scattered, which greatly hinders joint work between countries and international cooperation to face global challenges, such as climate change.
The EUROCLIMA+ project is working along these lines, hand in hand with AEMET in Central America, where, together with the different countries’ institutions, they are generating climate scenarios to anticipate the impacts of climate change and plan adaptation measures. In this sense, the project, financed by the EU and with the FIIAPP participating in the management, has its sights set on reviewing the impact, vulnerability and needs of adapting to climate change.
The usefulness of the scenarios, in the words of the project specialist and AEMET meteorologist Jorge Tamayo, depends on having information so as to know “what is going to happen and what measures can be applied”, and also that such information can “be used by those responsible for water management, for planning”, for example “if they have to make a greater number of reservoirs or have to resize those that they currently have, to try to mitigate these effects at least by knowing them.”
Working together to adapt or mitigate climate change is the same as working together for a more resilient future, as EUROCLIMA+ demonstrates.
19 December 2019
Posteado en : Opinion
Alma Martín Pérez, a support technician in the EU-Cuba Exchange of Experiences programme to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency reflects on programme participation at COP25 and the results of the summit.
The COP25 World Climate Summit expected more ambitious agreements on climate change neutrality by 2050. The frantic level of discussions and negotiations from the almost 200 countries participating in the summit relentlessly sought a last-minute consensus. Nonetheless, the CO2 emissions market and other relevant issues were postponed until Glasgow COP26, scheduled for November 2020.
Over two weeks, representatives from countries, international organisations, institutions and civil society produced figures that testify to the urgent need for action: The oceans are receiving 13,000,000 tonnes of plastic annually, increasing acidification of the seas is affecting fishing and impacts on food security. Three quarters of the planet are under threat, over one million species are at risk of extinction, greenhouse gases have reached a new high. The next 50 years will see 250 million to 1 billion environmental refugees. The data is overwhelming. Commitments are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the temperature rising by over 1.5 degrees.
Nonetheless, COP25 was not only about raising the alarm and the environmental emergency. It also offered spaces for awareness and dialogue to address environmental issues from a multi-disciplinary approach: biodiversity, gender, migration, town planning, industry, finance, technological development, etc. A wide range of topics to ensure that both specialists and the general public alike learn of the situation as it stands, without giving way to drama and pessimism, because there is still time to act.
Accordingly, FIIAPP worked closely with the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Cristina Gallach, helping to organise COP and promoting different activities, such as the panel on “Energy transition and economic investment opportunities in Cuba” in collaboration with the project coordinator Maite Jaramillo, Felice Zaccheo (European Commission Head of the Regional Programs Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean), Marlenis Águila (Director of Renewable Energies at the Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mines), Elaine Moreno (General Director of the National Energy Office in Cuba – ONURE), Ramsés Montes (Director of Energy Policy at ONURE) and Eric Sicart (Fira Barcelona). This event falls within the scope of the EU-Cuba Experience Exchange programme to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, which is funded by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP. The main elements of the programme were highlighted at this event, along with the opportunities and challenges facing Cuba in developing renewable sources and using energy efficiently.
Island countries are directly subject to the consequences of climate change and are aware of how strongly environmental protection is linked to sustainable economic and social development. Formed by specialists from MINEM and ONURE, the Cuban delegation invited to the COP used the panel to announce the country’s ambitious policy to substantially reduce the use of hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 by progressively increasing renewable energy sources and enhancing their use in the electric power generation matrix.
Beyond the COP, the international community has begun to take steps towards ecological transition. However, the challenge is to do so in time and justly and fairly to prevent a worsening of existing inequalities. The responsibility for change requires public policies by countries, international and regional organisations aimed at decarbonising the economy, adapting the current system to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.
Even though the agreements reached at COP are not those envisaged, one thing has become evident in the course of the summit, namely, the interest of Spanish society in strengthening climatic action and in progressing towards CO2 emission neutrality. It is time to act and seek joint solutions.
05 December 2019
Posteado en : Opinion
Iosu Iribarren, from the FIIAPP Strategy Department, gives us his personal vision of COP25 and how to face the challenge of climate change
31 October. The phones keep ringing. And in silence the ticking of the clock reminds us that it’s time to act . There are four weeks left before COP25 begins. It will be in Madrid, there is hardly any time, and an invigorating mixture of excitement, confidence and nerves takes hold of us all.
Chile has rightly decided to attend to the social demands, which cannot wait. And since the fight against climate change is also pressing, solidarity triumphs in the form of cooperation and multilateralism.
COP25 is the last summit before the Paris Agreement comes into force in 2020. The United States has already announced that it is abandoning ship and Greta Thunberg, in such an eloquent paradox, shows us her sailing boat trip to the Summit in streaming video. Meanwhile, the European Union, Latin America and the other countries (a total of 196) stand firm in their commitment to complete Article 6 – still under construction – to create a common framework for offsetting CO2 emissions.
On the horizon are the contours of a future with zero-net carbon and a fair global energy transition. The 2030 Agenda permeates the atmosphere, marks the way forward and offers us a common language with which to promote – from Ibero-America, that has not changed – sustainable development in all its dimensions.
The two-week period from 2 to 13 December is the ideal occasion for exchanging perspectives and sharing the challenges, difficulties and solutions that together we are finding in adapting to and mitigating climate change. Political dialogue and policy dialogue: thus, COP25 will be a platform to give voice to Latin America and its adaptation agenda.
The oceans are the protagonists of this Summit, following the latest IPCC report . And it is in this context that the Atlantic Ocean is presented as a bridge for two continents united in the face of climate change challenges. The pavilion of the Chilean presidency is joined by that of Colombia (it is the first time that the country has a pavilion in a Climate Conference), Spain, the European Union and EUROCLIMA + to tell the rest of the world about our efforts on climate cooperation.
Mexico passed its first climate change law in 2012 and amended it in 2018, at the same time as Peru passed its own law. Chile and Spain are each in the process of approving bills and, in Panama, the design of their climate law has just begun. Cuba, for its part, now addresses the increasing inclusion of renewable energies within its energy matrix.
Similar or different experiences? We’ll find out as COP25 progresses! What is clear is that we cannot avoid designing, implementing and evaluating public policies with the reduction of inequalities and the search for a prosperous life for all at their centre, for an inclusive and sustainable future, based on a commitment to the environment.
Sunday 1 December. Everything is ready for the Summit. The phones stopped ringing and the clock hands can be heard again. The next dates – 2020, 2030, 2050 – are close. But the rhythm is no longer marked only by the ticking of the clock; since 2 December the voices of Latin America and Europe, which have found each other more than ever at COP25, have been added.
To Alma and Carolina, and to the team of the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, thank you for your optimism and your contagious enthusiasm.