Latin America and the Caribbean prepare transition to Green Economy

Latin American and Caribbean countries have adopted a joint document with commitments to boost sustainable development on the continent. The draft of the document – the final text will be published next week – brings 22 suggestions.

These suggestions were proposed by the participants of the 1st Regional Ministerial Conference of the Americas on Green Economy, which took place this week in Fortaleza.

The recommendations are divided into four strands: creating transition and legislative environment policies for a green economy model, promoting the use and scaling up of innovative technologies, increasing the role of green funding to ensure sufficient resources for sustainable development and the empowerment of society for development actions at the national level.

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“For substantive changes to move forward, people need to remove the differences. It is important to talk and make them understand the benefit of the green economy, that adherence to sustainable practices does not deprive them of opportunities. In fact, it opens up perspectives,” said Edem Bakhshish, regional coordinator of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation and a member of the World Organization for the Green Economy.

Bakhshish believes in the potential of Latin America and the Caribbean to promote sustainable development. However, he regrets the heterogeneous distribution of good practices in the region. “The good thing is that the countries of the region are willing to learn from their peers,” he says.

The president of the Brazil Africa Institute, João Bosco Monte, and Edem Bakhshish in pronouncement at the end of the conference panels. (Image: Gomes Avilla/Ibraf)

“We have learned here that countries that remain willing to continue in dialogue are in the making. It is a very difficult job to negotiate an agenda for the environment,” explains the president of the Brazil Africa Institute, João Bosco Monte, Brazilian organizer of the event. “Passions cannot be placed on the individual or ideological interests of people. Sustainability, the environment, and diversity are inexorably on the agenda.”

Found paths

Among the suggested actions are the use of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicators to measure progress in transition policies for the green economy, the integration of new green economy technologies into the blue economy, the 17 goals for sustainable development of the United Nations, and the close monitoring of policies and incentives so that they can be adjusted.

The document also recommends tax optimization to facilitate access to innovative technologies, the articulation between government, civil society, business, and consumers to create a positive environment for innovation and change in the culture of private investors through new green funding tools such as carbon credits and green bonds.

The 1st Regional Ministerial Conference of the Americas on Green Economy was organized by the World Green Economy Organization (WGEO), the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, and the Brazil Africa Institute.