Conference carbon pricing LAC

Promoting carbon markets in the Americas

In Santiago de Chile, the Ministry of the Environment of Chile organised a January event on carbon pricing instruments and Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) systems with the support of UN ECLAC, the Government of Canada, the World Bank Group and GIZ aimed at moving towards convergent MRV systems and exploring future carbon markets for the region.

The event met with strong commitment on the part of national and subnational jurisdictions of the Americas regard to climate change mitigation by introducing market mechanisms and in particular, carbon pricing. This commitment is reflected in the Cali Declaration of the Pacific Alliance member states (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and the more recent Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas at the One Planet Summit in Paris in December 2017, which enhances a shared vision of cooperation. One of its main objectives is to establish the necessary basis to prepare for possible regional carbon market mechanisms.

In the Latin American region, the countries of the Pacific Alliance have been leaders in exploring alternatives for mitigating climate change, agreeing with voluntary carbon markets and converging on MRV systems that make it possible to ensure that 1 tonne of CO2 in one territory is the same as elsewhere.

‘Our region faces enormous challenges. Combating climate change is undoubtedly one of them. We are socially, economically and environmentally vulnerable to its effects and we are aware that its manifestation is a factor of deepening inequalities and a multiplier of threats. Moving towards low-carbon and sustainable development is, therefore, an urgent task. One step in this direction is the adoption of carbon pricing instruments, widely validated as a tool to mitigate greenhouse gases,’ were the opening words of the Undersecretary of the Environment of Chile, Jorge Canals.

In the opinion of Rodrigo Pizarro, a Head of Division in the Ministry of the Environment of Chile, ‘Although, at the national level, different countries are implementing different types of instruments to comply with their mitigation commitments, undoubtedly regional collaboration is necessary to take advantage of global trading schemes. A carbon market presents enormous opportunities for this region, not only can such a system reduce national emissions at a lower cost, but because the region has the possibility of offering offsets at the global level.’

Finally, at the event, a call was made to continue the discussion in order to arrive at specific commitments, in which the Declaration of the Americas and the Cali Declaration form only the starting point in the region’s work.

For more information on the conference follow the link in the right margin.