Climate Change and Public Advocacy

Climate change is a new framework that demands a more systemic analysis and raises the need for an updated approach to development, governance, and individual and collective behavior. In this context of shared challenges, new opportunities emerge. The specific opportunity Avina and its allies envision is the chance to influence necessary adjustments to public policy and market regulations at the local, national and regional levels as a result of climate change. Relatedly, Latin America has a key role to play in international negotiations that are happening because of this great global challenge.

In Latin America, climate change is highly relevant, but the level of response and public policy framework is very uneven among countries in the region. Brazil is well positioned in the global debate by its emissions reduction targets, curbs on deforestation in the Amazon and its leading role in biofuels. Costa Rica has made the ambitious proposal to become carbon-neutral by 2021. Mexico and Chile are countries that have adopted proactive policies to regulate greenhouse gas emissions to satisfy the requirements determined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Bolivia has promoted an alternative proposal in the international debate that focuses on the demand for “climate justice.” Other countries adopt weak or ineffectual positions.

With few exceptions, Latin American leadership from both the civilian and business sectors is characterized by low awareness of the problem and its link to both the economy and policy. In the coming years this scenario has to change if the region wants to prepare for the future, promote regional interests and influence the international consensus around climate change.