Latin American municipalities commit to increase regional cooperation on energy efficiency

Sixty community leaders sign letter of commitment to strengthen cooperation on energy efficiency at a regional workshop co-hosted by UNEP DTU Partnership.

March 19, 2020

First regional workshop
No less than sixty mayors and municipalities took part in last week’s Regional Workshop on Energy Efficiency in Latin American Municipalities, jointly organised by UNEP DTU Partnership’s Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency (C2E2), the Red Argentina Municipios frente al Cambio Climatico (RAMCC), and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

The three-day workshop was the first of its kind and specifically targets energy efficiency and financing for Latin American municipalities.

Gathered in the halls of the legislature in Buenos Aires, local authorities from countries across the region exchanged best case practices on energy efficiency initiatives, discussed viable models of implementation for sustainable energy use in cities, and worked on planning possible future collaborative projects together with C2E2 and representatives from regional financial institutions.

Sharing experiences
A central part of the workshop was for authorities to come together to exchange knowledge and share experiences of energy efficiency projects in the region.

Technical teams from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay were there to present diverse innovations ranging from transforming modes of urban transportation in order to encourage sustainable mobility, to educational awareness projects and campaigns promoting sustainable energy consumption in buildings.

Cooperation at the local level
The workshop builds on the success of RAMCC, a network of 160 municipalities in Argentina working to limit the effects of climate change in collaboration with UNEP DTU Partnership.

In many cases, despite the urgency, international support to acquire sustainable technologies is slow to arrive, while local governments face the consequences of the changing climate. Through RAMCC, municipalities coordinate their efforts and promote local public policies to fight climate change.

An early result of the collaboration has been the establishment of a trust fund, allowing local authorities in 32 municipalities across Argentina to bundle together finances and invest in more than a thousand LED lamps for street lighting in cities.

This action is a direct outcome of the ‘project bundling’ business model developed in coordination with the Copenhagen Centre on Energy Efficiency.

The Project Bundling Guide, which C2E2 also presented at last week’s workshop, promotes the bundling of energy efficiency projects across municipalities as an effective instrument to scale up implementation locally.

Commitment to improve energy efficiency in Latin America
A round of thematic sessions was held on the last day to disclose current financing programmes for energy efficiency and discuss future cooperation between the C2E2, funders and the municipalities in the region.

With the signing of the final action document, the authorities present commit to:

  • Continue networking to strengthen regional energy efficiency policies
  • Improve and promote investment in technological resources for sustainable energy consumption
  • Develop and strengthen programmes aimed at promoting energy efficiency in their localities.

The commitment recognises the responsibility of local governments and the strategic role they play in promoting and disseminating necessary institutional reform and technological innovations for climate action.

It is framed within the context of the recommendations from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and accepts the urgency of the Sustainable Development agenda.

As such, the parties understand that climate action should guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all, and will strive to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.