(Barbados Today): In the lead up to the global summit on climate change COP26, scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from November 1 to 12, and in an effort to spur greater regional and global action to combat climate change impacts, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean will host a regional Summit on Sept. 8.
The meeting will bring together political leaders across the Latin American and Caribbean region, global and regional development banks and organisations, technical experts, and climate change specialists.
The Governments of Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama are co-organizing the “High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas.” The event will consist of three segments that include a high-level debate, technical discussions, and a ministerial roundtable.
The event will be broadcast live and will feature regional leaders and organisations, senior government officials. Prime Minister Mia Mottley is expected to speak during the first session of the day at the Summit which is titled, “Sprint to Glasgow: enhancing climate ambition.”
Other regional leaders speaking in the first session are, Argentinian President Alberto Fernández; the President of Colombia, Iván Duque Martínez; the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Álvarez Quesada; the President of Panama, Laurentino Cortiz; the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader; and the Minister of Environment of Chile and President of COP 25, Carolina Schmidt.
Specially invited guest speakers in this session will include the United States Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry; United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres; and COP 26 President Alok Sharma of the United Kingdom. Kristalina Georgieva, President of the International Monetary Fund is also expected to address participants.
The conference will promote dialogue that seeks to boost ambition and actions which address the climate crisis, emphasise the urgency of climate action in the Americas, advance the design of innovative means of implementation and encourage cooperation towards adaptation and mitigation of climate change in the region.
Prime Minister Mottley is expected to advocate for the risks and vulnerabilities of small island developing states to be prioritised in the global agenda and multilateral system.
In the face of the scientific evidence presented by the Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on August 9th, and in accordance with the Paris Agreement, it has become necessary to heighten the political and policy agenda on climate issues. Although this agenda presents an enormous challenge, it also creates collaboration opportunities to build a resilient and sustainable post-pandemic economic recovery.
The second session of the day will be comprised five panels. The first one, entitled “Innovative mechanisms for means of implementation”, will be led by the Secretary of Strategic Affairs of Argentina, Gustavo Béliz. The second panel entitled “Accelerating climate action through regional cooperation” will be moderated by the Climate and Foreign Policy advisor of the Office of the United States Special Envoy for Climate, Jonathan Pershing.
The remaining panels, “Engaging the private sector in climate action” will be led by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, Carlos Eduardo Correa, while the penultimate panel, “Building coastal-marine resilience to climate vulnerability” will be moderated by the Executive Vice President of the National Climate Change Council of the Dominican Republic, Max Puig. The Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Andrea Meza Murrillo, moderate the final panel, titled “Nature and climate: transformative approaches for adaptation and climate action”.
The closing session of the High-Level Dialogue will feature a Ministerial roundtable presided over by the Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, Andrea Meza Murillo; the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia, Carlos Eduardo Correa; the Minister of Environment of Panama, Milciades Concepción, and the Minister of Environment of Chile, Carolina Schmidt.
These ministers will review and discuss the main messages emerging from the discussions during the High-Level Dialogue. The roundtable will be co-moderated by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina, Juan Cabandié, and the United States Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.
The High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change will be an important forum for galvanising the region of Latin America and the Caribbean to obtain a strong outcome from the global climate conference in Glasgow.