Municipalities of Argentina increase their climate ambitions and,with strong commitment and leadership, organize for COP25.


05/11/2019

On November 5, 2019, more than 40 RAMCC municipalities met against Climate Change in   National Senate in the context of preparation for COP25. The assembly was attended by  Fundación Avina,  European Union,  Pan American Health Organization and the Secretary of Sustainable Development and Climate Change of Argentina.

The objective was the elaboration of “Municipalities Declaration for COP25” based on a common positioning of local governments members of RAMCC for COP25, founded on science and consensus in favor of increasing climate ambitions premises according to the current emergency.

It is expected that this exemplary role that the local governments of RAMCC are assuming will translate into different opportunities, both technical and financial, within the framework of international agreements on climate change.

During the opening,Ricardo Bertolino - RAMCC’s Executive Secretary - highlighted that Argentina is the only country in the region that has local GHG inventories made in the country (currently has 100) and for that reason can present a reduction proposal of serious and grounded municipal climate ambition.

Carlos Gentile -Secretary of Climate Change and Sustainable Development-  recognized the value of RAMCC and the need to work together to be able to act genuinely with Argentina’s cities . The road traveled is manifested, for example, in the numerous RAMCC participations in the extended tables of the National Climate Change Cabinet and also with the progress of the large-scale mitigation project that is being presented to the Green Climate Fund.

Tadeo García Zalazar, Mayor of Godoy Cruz (Mendoza) spoke about the need to redouble our efforts. He stressed that no matter how serious the RAMCC work is, it is obvious that it is not enough and there is a need to increase ambitions to inspire other localities. This responsibility belongs to everyone regardless the size of the locality . Godoy Cruz is an excellent example of climate leadership, the reduction goal of its Local Climate Action Plan is the highest of all being 35% for 2030.

There was also a presentation by Paula Ellinger -  Climate Action Program Director at Fundación Avina- who presented the science-based targets and the new global context of climate action. Much has changed in the climate action landscape since Paris Agreement, formed 4 years ago . For instance, the US announced this week that formally began the process to withdraw from Paris Agreement and the IPCC published its 1.5-degree special report that illustrates the immense differences in terms of consequences to ecosystems and populations between an increase of the global temperature of 2 degrees respect to an 1.5 degrees increase. To achieve this, the IPCC has given a series of specific recommendations, the most important is that by 2050 we will have to reach 0 net emissions. This will only be possible if by 2030 a 45% emission reduction is reached. It is already proven that the sum of all the national commitments (NDC) of the UNFCCC would lead us to a global temperature increase of 3 degrees, not even reaching the goal of the Paris Agreement.

The agreement was designed so that each country can review its contributions periodically and increase its ambition to achieve its objectives. Local governments can act in the emissions gap that currently exists between these 3 and 1.5 degrees increase.

Finally, he announced the Climate Ambition Alliance, an initiative of the Chilean government that brings together national and local governments to set goals based on science and IPCC recommendations. Currently, Buenos Aires City is the only Argentinian town that is part of this alliance.

Florencia Mitchell from RAMCC technical team explained how cities that worked on their Local Climate Action Plan had been incentivized so far to set a 2030 reduction target of 18% or greater to be aligned with the unconditional goal of the national NDC. Considering  the urgency of the global context and the new scientific information available, it may be appropriate to rethink that level of municipal climate ambition.

Emanuel Ayala - Coordinator of Climate Action Plan of RAMCC- presented the progress regarding the work of the municipalities in the field of climate planning. To date, 27 local governments have already defined their strategies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, aligned with the National Determined Contribution (NDC). This experience will be taken into account to define a work methodology applicable to the rest of the municipalities of Argentina and Latin America. In this context, the Executive Secretariat was convened by the European Union to train Chilean Network of Municipalities against Climate Change in the use and application of its methodologies.

Additionally,  progress has been made in the development of collective climate projects to request international funds.Municipal energy efficiency project EUROCLIMA+ has been approved, the concept note of the large-scale mitigation project for the Green Climate Fund is being prepared and the preparation of a lighting replacement project to LED technology in 23 municipalities for a total of 41,700 luminaires is in an advanced state.

The day ended up with a preparation for COP25  including a declaration from RAMCC’s cities which sets a very ambitious emissions reduction goal  and some recommendations to provincial and national governments, as well as international organizations and community  . The document will be shared with all the RAMCC municipalities to integrate consensual views of each local government and it will be announced right away.

Translator: Florencia Battaglia