EC-UNEP Agreement Aims to Strengthen Regional Cooperation in Latin America and Caribbean

unep-ec3 June 2014: The European Commission (EC) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) signed a regional cooperation agreement to increase policy dialogue on climate change mitigation and adaptation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The agreement provides for the convening of a Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, a high-level policy dialogue on climate change that will be facilitated by UNEP.

In addition to the the Forum of Ministers, the agreement provides for almost €1 million in additional resources for the EUROCLIMA programme to raise public awareness, support national debate and encourage legislative progress. "Activities under the agreement will be aligned with priorities of governments as identified by the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Ministers of Environment," according to UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

Through the regional cooperation agreement, UNEP will seek to further strengthen its cooperative and capacity-building agenda in the LAC region. The agreement is meant to complement other initiatives, such as the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), the Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC), and the UNEP Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA).

EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs underscored the importance of signing the agreement in 2014. The Latin American region will host the next round of UNFCCC negotiations, with the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 20) being hosted in Lima, Peru, in December 2014. In addition, the agreement was announced as 193 member States are preparing for the UNEP Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2014, where climate change is expected to be a priority topic of discussion.

The EUROCLIMA programme is a partnership created in 2010 between the EU and the Latin American region that focuses on climate change policy dialogue, governance, legislation and public awareness. [UNEP Press Release] [EUROCLIMA Press Release]