The Latin American and Caribbean Climate Week – keeping Kofi Annan’s legacy alive

Participants from all levels in the Latin American region have gathered in Montevideo to step up and emphasise climate solutions.

August 21, 2018

Today, the Latin American & Caribbean Climate Week kicked off with an opening ceremony that attracted a notable cast of local and global leaders, representatives from the private sector and environmental organisations and Uruguayan Minister of Housing, Land Planning and Environment of Uruguay, Eneida De Leon, who welcomed attending delegates in Montevideo.

The event is organised by the Nairobi Framework Partnership, founded by Kofi Annan in 2006, as a means of bolstering the interlinkages between governments, the private sector, and the developing world. Following news of the former Secretary-General’s passing last weekend, it’s clear that the world needs to enhance this kind of multilateral collaboration if it is to make the Paris Agreement a reality.

The Latin American & Caribbean Climate Week – and indeed all regional Climate Weeks hosted throughout the globe annually – are therefore a tangible and necessary way of honoring Kofi Annan’s vision of bringing everyone on board to solve the world’s great problems. In the case of the Nairobi Framework Partnership, the problem at hand is as global and urgent as they get.

An inclusive approach to concrete solutions

Both the Latin American & Caribbean Climate Week and the cornerstone event, the Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum is co-hosted by UNEP DTU Partnership as a founding member of the Nairobi Framework Partnership.

Representing the Nairobi Framework Partnership, Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, said: “Right now, we need ideas, best practices and lessons learned from every segment of society, whether businesses, investors, regional and local leadership, and everyday people. It’s what I call “inclusive multilateralism and it means having more voices at the table leading to more climate change solutions.”

On a continent that is flanked on each side by two great oceans – the Atlantic and the Pacific – the region is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events, tropical storms and hurricanes, such as those that recently hit the Caribbean and Meso America, with devastating consequences.

Eneida De Leon, Minister of Housing, Land Planning and Environment of Uruguay opened the climate week, cautioning participants, that focus needs to be on solutions, both political and technical: “This climate week should not and cannot be just another event in a long line of events. We need concrete solutions”.
The minister also emphasised the need to address NDCs and ways to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement in the Latin American region.

Stepping up the effort

During the climate week, UNEP DTU Partnership will contribute both at the High Level Sessions and by showcasing results and lessons learned at workshops and side event throughout the week.

The Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week 2018, runs to 23 August in Montevideo, Uruguay and was preceded by the Asia Pacific Climate Week from 10-13 July, Singapore.

Both events build momentum ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in California and New York Climate Week next week, as a means of demonstrating that there is genuine international support for stepping-up local, national, regional and international climate action on the part of all stakeholders.