GRULAC And the COP25 Candidate: Step Up And Keep 1.5C Alive!

ECO always gets excited about a tropical COP! Having missed out on a trip to Fiji and with the prospect of being in a wintery Poland in 2018, ECO is itching to pack sun-cream and insect repellent for the next Latin American-hosted COP in 2019.

Brazil made its generous offer to host COP25 on the same day as it won the Fossil of the Day Award for a bill sent to Congress by President Temer that would subsidize new oil development in Brazil by roughly US$300 billion.

This juxtaposition raises pertinent questions for any country harboring ambitions for a COP Presidency. So far COPs are given to just about any country that volunteers, often regardless of their climate track record.

ECO would like to set a challenge: from now on any country wishing to host COP, must have an NDC compatible with the 1.5 goal. On the road to 2020, each COP presidency must lead by example and encourage all countries to bring their NDCs into line with the 1.5C goal and increase levels of support to developing countries to help get them there.

Most countries are currently found wanting. South America is set to host COP25, but Climate Action Tracker says that the NDCs of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru, among others, are currently incompatible with 1.5C.

While ECO congratulates these countries for being outliers in attracting investment in renewables and bringing new solar, wind and geothermal capacity online, there remain serious challenges. Proposed investments in oil and gas, troubling rates of deforestation, fossil fuel subsidies and increasing private vehicle ownership threaten to undermine these countries’ ability to implement Paris.

As the UN Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) holds discussions about Brazil’s COP25 candidacy and possibly other offers, ECO kindly requests that delegates consider what climate leadership looks like.

ECO understands that Latin America and the Caribbean is a fragmented continent when it comes to the UN climate talks with its various groups. Yet, the region is also unified by its extreme vulnerability to climate impacts and its vast potential for low emission and climate-resilient development. The UNEP DTU Partnership says that the region could achieve a net zero carbon regional economy by 2050 if it adopts measures such as decarbonizing the power sector and drastically reducing deforestation, which could also help it achieve the SDGs.

To realize Paris and keep the 1.5 goal alive — talk needs to translate to action.

Among the countries willing to host COP25, the one that is the most willing to bring its first NDC into line with the 1.5 goal should be favoured.