On Wednesday, Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez inaugurated the Latin American Summit on Climate Change, in which regional leaders will discuss common strategies to protect the environment and guarantee sustainable economic development.
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"Now is the time to act. Planetary destruction is not going to stop unless all governments adopt a new development paradigm," Fernandez stated and advanced that his country will increase its financial contribution to reducing global emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases by 2 percent.
Since he took office in Dec. 2019, Fernandez has prioritized actions in favor of climate and environmental sustainability in Argentina. To this end, his administration developed a national climate change research plan, promoted renewable energies, and was committed to criminalizing illegal deforestation by law.
On May 14, Fernandez met the U.S. Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry in Rome to discuss the challenges of climate change and ratify the commitment of their countries to limit the increase in global temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius. In this meeting, they agreed to organize a regional summit on the environment as a prelude to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 25) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.
The governments of Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic welcomed this initiative and agreed to carry out the summit virtually to avoid COVID-19 contagions.
Besides analyzing regional environmental policy options, the summit’s delegates will discuss economic mechanisms to counteract the effects of the pandemic.
"As Pope Francis says, there is no ecological crisis outside the social crisis," Fernandez stressed, adding that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should apply lower interest rates to developing countries.
Before concluding the summit, delegates will take part in a Ministerial Round Table in which policies agreed in five thematic forums will be analyzed and discussed.