Drawing Parallels at the Latin COP

13 December 2019

Negotiations are falling apart, in a stark reflection of the political climate in Latin America. After several attempts at holding COP25 in Latin America, we have found ourselves back in Europe, hosting a Latin American Presidency in Spain.
 The agenda has polarized talks on common time frames, the transparency framework, and adaptation. Progress in the negotiations on market mechanisms has so far also been incredibly disappointing. 
Have Parties not learned enough from the failure of market responses in Chile to block loopholes?
Going into the final plenary, it seems progress on any of these crucial points is entirely out of the question; countries have acted entirely in their own interests, remaining deaf and unresponsive to the calls for action coming from outside.
The parallels are eerie between the social injustices and oppression of civil society happening in many parts of Latin America and the shrinking space for civil society found here at this COP. The voices of minorities, those who are most affected, least responsible, and fighting for their future, are being ignored, both in Latin American and in this COP.
The Escazú Agreement, which will provide the tools for establishing and protecting a dignified and sustainable environment and provide agency to disadvantaged Latin American communities, also gained little traction in Madrid. This agreement is crucial to protecting those who are fighting to protect our future, yet governments have been slow to sign on and ratify it. Instead, we hear, too frequently, reports of environmental defenders being threatened, harassed or even worse.
So far, this Latin American COP has ECO feeling left out in the cold. With so much at stake, ECO questions if a comprehensive and ambitious COP decision is too much to expect of a country so socially and politically fragmented? However, for all its history of turmoil, Latin America also has a history of resilience; ECO will reserve its final judgement until plenary closes tonight.

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