Significant advances in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico discussed at National Coordinators Forum of the GCOM Latin America
January 25, 2024 – On the last day of January 25, partner institutions of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) gathered at the first National Coordinators Forum of 2024, an initiative by the European Union through the GCoM Secretariat in Latin America. The Forum serves as a continuous mechanism for sharing experiences among institutions that are part of the GCoM alliance and take the lead in the fight against climate change in their countries.
During the event, representatives from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico shared significant progress in implementing GCoM activities in their respective countries, sharing successes, lessons learned, and key milestones in the implementation of their national strategies.
Brazil: Climate Actions in Small and Intermediate Cities
Activities of the Global Covenant of Mayors in Brazil involved collaboration with national coordinators from the Brazilian Association of Municipalities (ABM), Alziras Institute, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in Brazil, and National Mayors and Mayors Front (FNP), institutions crucial to the success of the subnational climate movement in the country.
The National GCoM Strategy in Brazil was presented by Valentina Falkenstein, Executive Manager of ABM. Valentina highlighted one of the five main activities of the strategy, focusing on small and intermediate cities, adding, “In Brazil, only 6 cities fulfilled all Pact commitments last year: 5 capitals and a small city.”
By assessing the success of Serra Talhada/PE, a small city, Brazilian institutions decided on the best paths to advance the climate movement. “This small city that progressed served as a model for another 30 selected cities, of medium and small size, to receive support in meeting Pact commitments. This work was thanks to hiring a technical consultant from Serra Talhada, Sandino Lamarca, who supported selected cities in applying specific knowledge, receiving constant support, and forming continuous workgroups,” Valentina contributed. Eduardo Tadeu, Executive Director of ABM, emphasized that “only 17 cities have completed their emission inventories in Brazil, and thanks to this activity funded by the European Union, we will have more than 12 that have made progress in 2023, and these are tremendous results.” Eduardo also noted that of these 30 pilot cities, 17 are led by women, and another 7 are located in the Amazon region of Brazil.
This visionary approach focused on small and medium cities not only demonstrates the leadership of Brazilian cities in the environmental sphere but also highlights the commitment of the Global Covenant of Mayors and its partner institutions to equity and inclusion. In addressing climate challenges locally, Brazil’s advisory committee strives to ensure that all cities, regardless of their region or size, have access to resources and opportunities to contribute significantly to building a more sustainable future. The effects of climate change are palpable in all cities, regardless of their size, necessitating initiatives to ensure that each locality can progress on its path to climate sustainability.
Colombia: Climate Resilience in the Territorial Functional Region
In Colombia, the effective coordination of national leaders from the Colombian Association of Capital Cities (Asocapitales), Colombian Federation of Municipalities (FCM), and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in Colombia has been crucial for the successful execution of the national strategy’s activities.
The presentation of achievements, led by Luz Camacho and Lorena Hurtado from ICLEI Colombia, began by highlighting the importance of the Territorial Functional Region of Climate Change (RFTCC), established in 2019 with technical support from the European Union through the Global Covenant of Mayors. The RFTCC, consisting of the municipalities of Tópaga, Mongui, Mongua, Gámeza, Corrales, Busbanzá, Beétiva, and Floresta, delivered Greenhouse Gas Inventories and Climate Action Plans (PLACs).
The presentation also featured interventions from Sandra Castro, Technical Management Director at FCM, and Zamir Augusto Urrea from Asocapitales, focusing on the much-needed climate resilience for the region. They also mentioned that, in addition to the activity with RFTCC, the PLAC of Florencia, in the Amazon region, was highlighted as an essential achievement of Pact activities in Colombia. The presentation combined technical and political aspects, emphasizing continuous commitment despite recent regional elections in Colombia.
Despite the transition of local authorities in Colombia during the Pact implementation process in the country, there has been a strong commitment from municipalities to continue driving climate actions. These milestones represent not only progress in the implementation of the Global Covenant of Mayors in Colombia but also an inspiring example of collaboration and dedication to local climate action.
Mexico: Adaptive Strategy for Diversity of Contexts
In Mexico, the comprehensive collaboration of the national coordinator of the Mexican Association of Municipal Planning Institutes (AMIMP) ensured the success of Pact implementation in the country. During the Global Covenant of Mayors National Coordinators Forum in Latin America, partner institutions in Mexico shared their notable advances in the subnational climate movement, highlighting innovative approaches by Mexican municipalities, an innovative approach, and impactful results.
The Pact strategy in Mexico was presented by Luis Carlos Lara Damken, President of the National Advisory Committee and National Coordinator of GCoM in Mexico. Luis Carlos emphasized how Pact activities in Mexico have adapted to the diversity of local contexts and realities, stating that “Activities in Mexico aimed to complement Mexico’s international efforts to comply with national climate change legislation.”
Thanks to GCoM, institutions forming the Advisory Committee of Mexico doubled municipal participation, working with 18 pilot cities, where technical training, support for the development of greenhouse gas inventories, and assessments of climate risks and vulnerabilities were conducted. Workshops on climate financing, awareness events on climate change and local governments, and the facilitation of exchanges of best practices in climate planning and urban development between cities in Mexico and throughout Latin America were also carried out.
With almost 120 committed cities, Mexico enters a new phase in the Pact. Examples of upcoming activities in Mexico will include ongoing technical training for municipalities through online platforms, business rounds for climate financing projects, virtual seminars, and meetings to share best practices in climate planning and urban development. These achievements reflect the commitment and leadership of Mexican cities and institutions in the fight against climate change at the local level and underscore the importance of personalized strategies to address the diversity of challenges across the country.
Overview for Latin America: Collective Advances towards Sustainability
Collectively, the National Strategies of the Pact in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico reflect a strong commitment and tangible results in the fight against climate change at the local level in Latin America. Regional cooperation has allowed progress in climate resilience, emission reduction, and the promotion of sustainability in cities. As these strategies are about to conclude, the importance of continuing to strengthen collaboration among local authorities, national coordinators, and the global community to address climate challenges and build a more sustainable future for the region is highlighted.
The National Coordinators Forum of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is led by the European Union through the Secretariat of the Global Covenant of Mayors. Eight Latin American countries are represented in the Forum by institutions leading the climate movement alongside their cities.
The institutions comprising the Forum are: the Argentine Network of Municipalities against Climate Change (RAMCC) and the Argentine Federation of Municipalities (FAM), representing Argentina; the Brazilian Association of Municipalities (ABM), National Front of Mayors (FNP), Alziras Institute, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, representing Brazil; the Chilean Association of Municipalities (AChM), representing Chile; the Colombian Association of Capital Cities (ASOCAPITALES), Colombian Federation of Municipalities (FCM), and ICLEI, representing Colombia; the National University (UNA) and the Union of Local Governments (UNGL), representing Costa Rica; WWF Ecuador and the Association of Municipalities of Ecuador (AME), representing Ecuador; the Mexican Association of Municipal Planning Institutes (AMIMP), representing Mexico; and the Forum of Cities for Life (FCV) and the Association of Municipalities of Peru (AMPE), representing Peru.
For more information, please contact:
Jose Moreno, Communication Advisor: [email protected]