Thanks to the support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) through the International Urban Cooperation Program for Latin America and the Caribbean project (IUC-LAC), these 7 cities defined their lines of action in mitigation and adaptation to climate change to the year 2030.
The 7 municipalities cover 1,122.56 km2 of surface where 629,370 people live. All have their greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory for the base year 2014 verified by international organizations, adding in a total of 1,937,489.41 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).
The areas that have led the coordination of the development of PACES were:
• Direction of Bromatology and Sanitation, Municipality of Bell Ville.
• Gardening, Ornamentation and Trees Management, Municipality of Caseros.
• Direction of Environment and Energy, Municipality of Godoy Cruz.
• Direction of Environment and Energy, Municipality of Guaymallén.
• Urban Solid Waste Management Area, Municipality of Monte Buey.
• Area of Renewable Energies and Local Development Networks, Municipality of VenadoTuerto.
• Secretariat of Strategic Planning, Urban Development and Environment, Municipality of Villa General Belgrano.
Faced with the problem of climate change, subnational governments are assuming increasingly active roles to combat it due to their quick capacity to influence the territories efficiently. To achieve the objectives defined in the Paris Agreement in December 2015, it is necessary that all levels of public administration take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.
In addition, more than 50% of the world's population lives in urban centers, which account for more than 70% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and more than 66% of global energy consumption. Hence the importance of addressing climate change from a local perspective. Their knowledge about the problems that affect the community and the possibilities for improvement, make cities a fundamental actor to transform these challenges into concrete mitigation and adaptation actions.
Within the framework of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, the signatory municipalities undertake to present, within a period not exceeding three years, a Local Climate Action Plan. This should be based on an Inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and on an assessment of climate risks and vulnerabilities, which make up the diagnosis of the current situation of the municipality. These elements serve to define the set of actions that local authorities will carry out to achieve their objectives. The Plans are also conceived as management tools that must be monitored and verified periodically in order to clearly know the degree of progress in the proposed actions and the remaining gaps to be settled. But in addition, they can and should be reformulated as progress is made in the implementation process to incorporate modifications that reflect the municipal dynamics without losing sight of the proposed objectives and, in any case, making them more ambitious.
Mitigation strategies developed in the 7 municipalities have focused on the energy issue, promoting energy efficiency plans in public lighting, municipal, residential, commercial and industrial buildings. They have also proposed actions related to the incorporation of renewable energies, mainly solar photovoltaic and solar/thermal.
The transport axis has been one of the most complex when defining concrete actions. The main challenges are related to the lack of direct intervention in transport systems, since in many cases they are private services or dependent on other public agencies. Regarding interventions in the fleets of municipal vehicles, mention has been made of the transfer to electric vehicles and the increase in the quantity of biofuel. In this framework, the proposed actions are related to the dissemination and promotion of the use of bicycles and public transport.
Regarding the waste sector, a large part of the municipalities have been working hard with the separation of waste at source. Taking advantage of this favorable framework and with the aim of reducing GHG emissions, the cities have reinforced the management plans incorporating the treatment of the organic fraction through home and / or centralized composting, as well as biodigestion.
With the proposed actions, the 7 municipalities committed themselves to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to the Business as Usual (BAU) reference scenario in the following tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e):
• Bell Ville: 24.538 tCO2e(18% less compared to the BAU).
• Caseros: 2.421 tCO2e (18% less compared to theBAU).
• Godoy Cruz: 213.789 tCO2e(35%less compared to theBAU).
• Guaymallén: 217.270 tCO2e(18% less compared to theBAU).
• Monte Buey: 11.081 tCO2e (18% less compared to theBAU).
• Villa General Belgrano: 14.282 tCO2e(18% less compared to theBAU).
• VenadoTuerto: 116.975 tCO2e(20% less compared to theBAU).
Regarding adaptation strategies, actions related to public works and water management were included to prevent flooding (reservoirs of water, pipes, drains, river defenses, etc). The reduction of vulnerability was also taken into account, the proposals of the municipalities aim to improve the quality of life through labor training and education courses. In some cases, the relocation of vulnerable neighborhoods was considered, articulating the areas of civil defense and territorial planning plans. Associated with this, early warning systems for storms and emergency action protocols take relevance. its place in the Plans, the adaptation strategies based on ecosystems, promoting the conservation of protected natural areas, the increase of surface public spaces and afforestation and reforestation programs.
The financing of the actions is one of the most difficult aspects to establish for the actions projected for 2030. Today local governments are defining part of their budget to programs and works related to mitigation or adaptation, but it must be recognized that to achieve greater impacts it requires the support of external sources. Therefore, the next steps will be aimed at finding resources for the implementation of some of the proposed measures. In this context, the RAMCC recently put into operation a trust, a novel financial tool developed with the objective of attracting funds from international cooperation for climate action. During the course of 2019, with new support from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), at least 20 other member cities of the RAMCC will develop their Local Climate Action Plans, positioning Argentina as the country with the greatest advances in the Latin America.
Translator: Laura Gutierrez Pinillos