December 9, 2013 – Mirroring trends in Asia, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are designing and implementing low emission development strategies, or LEDS, in order to meet social, economic, and environmental development goals. LEDS promote actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create resilience against climate change impacts.
Last week, I traveled to Lima, Peru to participate in the Latin America and Caribbean Regional Platform on Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS LAC) second annual regional workshop, on December 4-6, 2013. LEDS LAC is a regional platform of the LEDS Global Partnership, and as such, is a sister network to the Asia LEDS Partnership – sharing similar goals of promoting exchange of experience, lessons learned, and best practices, and enhancing collaboration among individuals and organizations working to advance LEDS in our regions.
Hosted by the Peruvian Government and organized in conjunction with InterCLIMA 2013, the gathering provided a forum for officials from Latin America, international organizations, technical experts, and other stakeholders to share experiences and best practices through numerous panel discussions, as well as deep-dive and training sessions.
His Excellency Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment of Peru and President of COP 20, opened the event, encouraging participants to “think globally, act nationally,” and highlighted LEDS as a way to build consensus through national processes towards achieving national goals.
Sam Bickersteth, CEO of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network and Co-Chair of the LEDS Global Partnership, added that LEDS is smart development when well designed and implemented – strengthening competitiveness, energy security, and social inclusion – and is key to transitioning to low-carbon growth.
In the three days that followed, discussions focused on finding innovative ways to make low emission development to also be climate resilient, understanding strategies and mechanisms to finance LEDS, and seeking synergies with existing initiatives. For example, we heard about Chile’s Price Stabilization Fund Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to catalyze commercial bank financing for renewable energy projects, Costa Rica’s agriculture sector NAMA to promote eco-competitiveness of farms and mills in the coffee sector, Peru’s development of a NAMA to increase waste collection and improve waste treatment, and many other measures underway in the region.
Similar to the Asia LEDS Partnership’s Asia LEDS Forum 2013: Putting LEDS into Practice, held in October 2013 in Manila, Philippines, participants at this workshop concentrated on “implementation” – trading challenges and approaches for creating policy and institutional environments to help ensure that plans are translated into action. Stakeholders cited as essential to engage included, among others, legislators, Ministries of Finance, and private sectors.
I participated on a panel to highlight leadership among Asia LEDS Partnership members in advancing LEDS in Asia, shared outcomes from our recent Asia LEDS Forum in Manila, and previewed our planned activities to further peer-to-peer exchange, capacity building, and collaboration among members in 2014. In interviewing participants, many emphasized the value of networks such as the LEDS Global Partnership regional platforms as a space for all to contribute their experiences and put ideas on the table to drive action. Participants representing countries in LAC voiced interest in learning more about LEDS innovations in Asia.
The Asia LEDS Partnership Secretariat will continue to identify sharing and learning opportunities across the regional platforms in the upcoming year. Are there any LEDS initiatives in the LAC region that you would like to learn more about? Let us know by sending an email to email@example.com.
By Sandra Khananusit, Asia LEDS Partnership Secretariat