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.
27 June 2019
On the occasion of World Environment Day, celebrated on 5 June, and World Oceans Day, commemorated on 8 June, we highlight the situation and the consequences environmental pollution is currently having and how FIIAPP, through various projects it manages, is helping in the fight to protect the environment
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental pollution has reached alarming proportions, in figures, 9 out of 10 people breathe toxic air and 7 million die every year from environmental and domestic pollution.
The Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, points out that “air pollution poses a threat to everyone, although the poorest and most marginalised people are worst affected”. In this regard, the WHO notes that over 90% of deaths related to air pollution occur in low and middle income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low and middle income countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Europe and the Americas.
Air pollution is considered an important risk factor, especially for noncommunicable diseases. The data show that it causes a quarter (24%) of adult deaths from heart disease, 25% of deaths from strokes, 43% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29% of deaths due to lung cancer.
Also, according to a study published in the ‘European Heart Journal‘, pollution is responsible for 800,000 deaths a year in Europe and 8.8 million worldwide.
World Environment Day
The first conference related to environmental issues was held in Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations. This meeting is known as the Conference on the Human Environment and its objective was to achieve a common vision on basic aspects related to protecting and improving the human environment.
On 15 December 1972, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that designated 5 June as World Environment Day. In addition, on that same day, the General Assembly approved another resolution that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
In 2019, World Environment Day has focused on air pollution. “It’s time to act forcefully. My message to governments is clear: tax pollution, stop subsidising fossil fuels and stop building new coal plants. We need a green economy, not a grey economy, “the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, highlighted in his speech.
SDG 13: Adopt urgent measures to combat climate change and its effects
In order to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at COP21, which entered into force in 2016. In it, the countries committed themselves to work to limit the increase in global temperature to less than two degrees Celsius.
The targets that are intended to achieve this Sustainable Development Goal include: strengthen the resilience and ability to adapt to the risks related to climate and natural disasters; improve education and awareness of climate change mitigation; put the Green Climate Fund into operation by capitalising on it as soon as possible and increase capacity for effective planning and management in relation to climate change in the least developed countries.
World Oceans Day
The United Nations General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day. The oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. However, only 1% of this area is protected. In addition, the oceans contain 96% of the Earth’s water and absorb around 25% of the CO2 that is added to the atmosphere year after year due to human activity, thus reducing the impact of this greenhouse gas on the climate.
“In the last 150 years, approximately half of live corals have been lost. Pollution by plastic in the oceans has multiplied tenfold in the last 40 years. One third of fish stocks are overexploited. The dead zones – submarine deserts where life does not prosper due to a lack of oxygen – are increasing rapidly, both in size and in number, “said Antonio Guterres.
SDG 14: Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources
The Oceans Conference was held between 5 and 9 June 2017, it was the first United Nations conference to work towards achieving SDG 14, its objective was to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources through sustainable development.
In addition, this Sustainable Development Goal has a number of targets including the following: prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds; regulate fishing exploitation and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices; conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas in accordance with national laws and international law; and facilitate the access by small-scale artisanal fishermen to marine resources and markets.
At present, various brands are reflecting the problem that our seas currently suffer in their advertising campaigns. For example, the Reina Sofía Foundation has presented an animated short film, Lemon, which represents the problem of plastics in nature.
According to scientists, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. They also warn that one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year as a result of plastic contamination. And, as if that were not enough, they highlight that microplastics have been found in 70% of the salt, molluscs and crustaceans we consume in our country.
FIIAPP and its contribution to the environment
FIIAPP manages several projects focused on caring for the environment. The EUROCLIMA+ programme is funded by the European Union and the climate governance component is managed by FIIAPP. It aims to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, because greenhouse gas emissions from urban transport in the region continue to increase.
If we talk about climate change, Beatriz García-Pozuelo, EUROCLIMA+ senior technician, points out that “it is expected that by 2100 the temperature in Madrid will have increased by 4 ºC. This means that living in Madrid would be more like living in Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates.”
In addition, FIIAPP manages Cuba-renewable, a project to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba. This project supports the effective implementation of the policy for the prospective development of renewable energy sources and efficient energy use and an appropriate regulatory framework.
“The use of renewable energy has created mountain hospitals, rural schools and, ultimately, allowed the population to access energy in a more equitable manner,” says Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project. In addition, she points out that, as Cuba is a country rich in renewable resources, the development of these resources “would make an important contribution to the environment”.
In addition, the Assistance Programme against Transnational Organised Crime, El PAcCTO, is implementing various activities among security forces and bodies in Europe, Latin America and internationally in order to promote joint policies to combat environmental crimes.
Similarly, the project ‘Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption in Ghana’, ARAP-Ghana, whose representatives at Ghanian Public Prosecutor’s Office and Environmental Protection Agency have visited Spain in order to acquire knowledge and good practices in the field of environmental crimes.
28 February 2019
Climate change is increasingly evident. The FIIAPP is committed to sustainability through two projects focused on renewable energies and climate change: Cuba-Renewables and EUROCLIMA +.
Renewable energies are clean, inexhaustible resources provided by nature. Unlike fossil fuels, producing energy this way does not emit greenhouse gases or pollution, so it does not affect climate change.
At the Paris Climate Change Conference held in December 2015, otherwise known as COP21, 195 countries signed the world’s first binding climate agreement. This agreement establishes a global action plan to keep global warming below 2ºC between 2020 and 2030.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, if the share of renewable energies in the global energy scenario were doubled to 32% in 2030, this would improve wellbeing by 3.7% and increase employment in the sector to more than 24 million people.
There are numerous sources of renewable energy such as wind energy, solar energy (obtained from the sun), and hydro energy (obtained from rivers and freshwater flows), biomass and biogas (from organic matter), geothermal energy (obtained from the interior of the Earth), tidal energy, wave energy, bioethanol (obtained by fermenting vegetable products) and biodiesel (obtained from vegetable oils).
Renewable energy accounts for 46.7% of installed capacity in Spain. According to data extracted from the Report on the Spanish electricity system 2018 published by Red Eléctrica de España in 2018, renewable generation on the Peninsula increased from 33.7% to 40.1%.
What are the advantages of renewable energies?
As we have already said, renewable energy production does not emit greenhouse gases, so it’s a clean solution that avoids environmental damage and does not affect climate change.
Unlike traditional energy sources, renewable energies are also inexhaustible. These energies are as available as the sun they originate from and adapt to natural cycles .
Because they are developed in the regions where they are installed, they make regions more energy-autonomous.
Nor do they entail any risks to health since they are obtained naturally and can be used in all circumstances.
Transition to 100% renewable energy sources
LUT University and the Energy Watch Group have published a report that shows the viability of a European energy transition towards 100% renewable sources. This study shows what it would mean to start using 100% renewable energy sources as opposed to those currently available, eliminating fossil fuels in all sectors before 2050.
The study also highlights that electricity generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of a combination of solar, photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and geothermal energy sources .
The data published in this study “demonstrate that Europe can switch to a zero-emission energy system . Therefore, European leaders can and must do far more to protect the climate than what is on the table today”, said Hans-Josef Fell, chairman of the Energy Watch Group.
EUROCLIMA + and Cuba-Renovables
The FIIAPP participates in the management of two projects focused on climate change and renewable energies. On the one hand, the EUROCLIMA + programme, funded by the European Union, aims to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, because in this region urban transport shows a continuous increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
“The fact that most of the population lives in cities, the use of public transport and a high index of renewable energy in the energy matrix, make Latin America an excellent scenario for sustainable mobility”, said Horst Pilger, sector head of the General Directorate of International Cooperation and Development of the European Union during COP24, held in December 2018.
On the other hand, the project for the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba, developed as a cooperation strategy between the EU and Cuba, also known as Cuba-Renovables, supports the effective implementation of the policy for the development perspective of renewable sources of energy and the efficient use of energy and its regulatory framework.
“We mustn’t forget that Cuba is a country rich in renewable resources and dependent on external fossil resources. Therefore, developing renewable energies would make an important contribution to the environment, and mean energy independence for the island, “says Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project.
Likewise, “the FIIAPP will contribute with experts’ exchanges and based on the work experience we already have in the country and the understanding we have with Cuba. In addition, it will contribute to the creation of networks in the sector”, he says.
SDG 7: Guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all.
In 2015, world leaders adopted a series of global objectives, known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and improve citizens’ rights. In the case of renewable energies, these are mentioned in SDG number seven, which aims to guarantee access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.