Quito Declaration Addresses Climate Issues

6 February 2012: During the 18th Session of the Forum of Environment Ministers (FME18) of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries, in Quito, Ecuador, climate issues featured frequently in the FME's 31 January-1 February 2012 Preparatory Meeting of High-Level Experts and 2-3 February Ministerial Segment. FEM 18 brought together high-level environment officials from 31 of the 33 LAC countries who adopted ten decisions and the Quito Declaration.

During the Preparatory Meeting of High-Level Experts, Ecuador proposed a draft FME decision on climate change covering developed country emission commitments, the Green Fund, technology transfer, social dimensions of REDD+, nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) and losses and damages. However, after a contact group failed to produce a consensus, the proposal was withdrawn.

As finally approved, the Quito Declaration calls on developed countries to: meet their Kyoto Protocol commitments and define and comply with more ambitious greenhouse reduction goals, with enforcement mechanisms and clear commitment periods; increase their commitments to finance LAC countries for mitigation and adaptation with new, additional, sufficient and unconditional funds; and meet and increase their commitments vis-a-vis LAC countries for adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer.

Climate change also featured in the discussion of a proposal to work toward a regional framework agreement on air pollution. Mexico proposed that any such agreement should include “short-lived climate forcers,” pollutants such as black carbon and methane that have an impact on climate change but are short-lived, but there was no consensus on this proposal. A number of countries expressed concern that any regional agreement might overlap, duplicate or interfere with their commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. In the end it was decided to adopt a FME Decision that focuses on formulating a regional action plan and strengthening the Regional Intergovernmental Network on Atmospheric Pollution established by the FME. [IISD RS Coverage of FME18] [Quito Declaration]