Listen Closely EU – LAC Countries have a Message for You

It’s always good when two global leaders talk up a strong climate deal. This week, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Ricardo Lagos, the former Presidents of Brazil and Chile respectively, urged the European Union and the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States (CELAC) to form a high-ambition coalition on climate at their meeting in Brussels. But perhaps Europe is not paying enough attention to its compañeros across the Atlantic.

If the EU is in need of a hearing aid, here’s what’s on the table: CELAC wants a Paris agreement to treat adaptation and mitigation equally, and they want assurances on how $100 billion in climate finance per year will be mobilised by 2020. Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries are also keen for Europe to increase technology transfer and capacity-building efforts, as well as advancing progress on the Loss and Damage Mechanism before Paris.

Therefore, Europe should reaffirm that it will enhance its support of LAC countries’ climate actions. This support should extend beyond mitigation actions. Europe must prove that it takes climate risk and adaptation seriously, especially as LAC countries are very concerned about climate impacts.

If Europe listens well to LAC, it is sure to have friends when it arrives in Paris. Both regions can collaborate to ramp up ambition and keep 1.5ºC alive by backing a long-term goal to phase out fossil fuels and achieve a 100% renewable-powered world by 2050.

Presidents Lula and Lagos know well that when countries listen to each other, big things can happen. ECO agrees wholeheartedly – the EU must show LAC countries they’re really listening in order to unlock potential for a high-ambition alliance in the lead-up to Paris.