November 09, 2021
The first week of COP26 is over and Latin American countries have so far discussed many commitments. Land use and deforestation, which are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss, were among the main highlights.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico, among other countries, signed the agreement to end the deforestation and restore natural landscapes by 2030. As of November 5, more than 130 countries have approved the declaration; they represent 90 percent of the world’s forests, which are responsible for sequestering “about a third of global CO2 released each year by burning fossil fuels,” according to the United Nations.
Some analysts hesitate to trust the objective. Similar agreements have been made in the past and have not been implemented, such as the failure of the New York Declaration on Forests in 2014 – although at the time, key countries like Brazil did not were not on board. On the other hand, there is still room for optimism. “Few previous climate COPs have discussed nature and forests on Glasgow’s current scale,” said environmentalist CristiÃ¡n Samper, president of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.
In addition, the Global Methane Pledge, which will likely reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, has been signed by more than 100 countries, including Latin Americans like Brazil and Mexico. This is an important step since methane has a more powerful effect on global warming than CO2 and accounts for a significant share of emissions from livestock farming.
Besides land and forests, the ocean is also a cause for conservation concern. At COP26, Ecuador announced a welcome expansion of the marine reserve around the Galapagos Islands. With Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica, the agreement aims to create an interconnected corridor of more than 500,000 square meters where fishing will be strictly regulated, protecting the migratory routes of several species.
In addition to the main agenda attended by government officials, young indigenous activists and leaders traveled to Glasgow to make their voices heard for climate action and justice. Txai SuruÃ’s speech drew attention to Earth’s demand for a change in our behavior. She quoted her father’s words that “we have to listen to the stars, the moon, the wind, the animals and the trees” to notice that the planet is heating up, the animals are disappearing, the rivers are dying and the plants are no longer blooming. like before. . âThe earth is talking. It tells us that we have no more time,â Txai said. “We need a different path. It’s not 2030 or 2050. It’s now.”
With a week to go, COP26 is already called another failure because of its non-disruptive speeches and agreements. “” Small steps in the right direction “,” making progress “or” winning slowly “is equivalent to losing” tweeted prominent youth leader Greta Thunberg. Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind the words of Txai SuruÃ: âIt is always necessary to believe that the dream is possible. May our utopia be a future on Earth.
Photo by Vlad Hilitanu