Santiago de Chile, November 27, 2020. After almost three months of activities that had broad participation by diverse sectors and actors of regional and international climate action,

the Joint Regional Event: "Climate action in times of crisis: Enhancing sustainable recovery post-COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean" held a closing and final reflection session, which sought to share the main findings in the three thematic areas developed in the joint event and to present the views on these results and on the priorities for climate action and green recovery in the region.

The joint regional event was born with the intention of joining the efforts of important initiatives, programmes and organisations in the Latin American and Caribbean region that work to promote climate action and transform the development of the countries in the region. Thus, the EUROCLIMA+ programme (through the Dialogue among Peers initiative, implemented by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), and ECLAC, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the LEDS LAC Regional Platform launched this initiative which aims to be an open space for meeting, collaboration and learning in three priority thematic areas of current relevance: the design of long-term strategies with zero emissions, the updating of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and the increase of their ambition, and the sectoral action reflected in transport and sustainable mobility.

This regional initiative was made up of a set of virtual activities carried out between September and December 2020 with diverse formats, methodologies, and specific themes. Each thematic axis has provided a guiding thread that has sought to articulate the offer of activities towards concrete results, giving visibility to the various experiences in the region and providing spaces for interaction and collaboration among participants, while systematising the learning, best practices and needs of the countries to consolidate the final products of the process.

At the end of this event, the closing session started with a panel discussion on the main results of each thematic axis based on the identification of trends and opportunities in the region.

Firstly, Raúl Andrade of the IDB, in his presentation "Long-Term Strategies towards net zero emissions and green recovery", pointed out that Long-Term Strategies (LTS) can help governments manage the social impacts of decarbonisation and ensure a fair and inclusive transition. Similarly, LTSs are relevant and useful for both the public and private sectors, as they provide certainty and point to an efficient and increasingly cost-effective path forward. In addition, he said that the just transition approach can help to boost climate action in the current context of the pandemic, given the risk that the pressing need for economic recovery will overshadow other equally urgent objectives, and should be directed at sectors that wish to preserve themselves after the transition to clean energy.

Following this and along the same line, Jimy Ferrer, ECLAC Economic Affairs Officer, reminded the audience that the recovery plans in the region open a window of opportunity to increase the ambition of the NDCs, designing them in a way that is consistent with the Long-Term Climate Strategies 2050. He added that the economic crisis generated by the pandemic and the climate crisis are a more than worrying situation, but at the same time they represent an opportunity to promote more comprehensive, inclusive, and resilient approaches. Along with this, he noted that ensuring greater involvement of cities in this effort represents a great opportunity to strengthen climate action and make the updated NDCs more ambitious.

Finally, Carolina Chantrill from the Sustentar Association, in her presentation "Decarbonising transport for a sustainable and resilient recovery" stated that sustainability and decarbonisation strategies for transport are more viable to implement when they are aligned under climate action and sectoral development policies. Latin America and the Caribbean have a great advantage and opportunity to decarbonise transport thanks to the experience and installed capacity of renewable energies, so it can be said that transport decarbonisation brings multiple benefits, in addition to combating climate change.

In a second discussion, the participants interacted on the identification of needs for each thematic axis. Here, Raúl Delgado of the IDB highlighted the opportunity to integrate decarbonisation objectives into planning and decision-making in public policy and investment, undertaking strategies to manage possible fiscal and social transitions, and to better manage a just and economically sustainable transition.

In turn, Fernando Andrade of UNDP highlighted that the climate governance framework requires work on three fundamental pillars: Information, Regulatory Framework, and Financing, which feed one another. In this regard, he also pointed out that progress is needed in the generation of information and the design of methodologies that are compatible and comparable, so that this information will serve as a basis for the creation of a legal framework and the generation of evidence-based policies. Finally, he added that there is a need to make access to financing more dynamic, which should come from various sources in order to finance the implementation of these policies.

Carolina Chantrill of Sustentar complemented the discussion by highlighting the importance of pilot entities to collect data and make use of locally generated information for the design of policies, programmes and projects. She also pointed out that for a faster and more effective implementation it is necessary to consider, from the beginning, both technological and infrastructure issues, as well as regulation, operation models and governance.

To conclude the session, a conversation was held entitled "Vision for climate action and green recovery" moderated by Ramiro Fernández, Director of Climate Change of the Avina Foundation, where discussions were held on how to guide climate institutions to ensure the structure and harmonisation of financial policies and mechanisms; and what changes each sector should make to increase ambition and accelerate this climate action.

Here, Carlos Adrianzén, Environmental and Corporate Affairs Manager of CELEPSA, Peru, highlighted the need to intensify public-private partnerships in the field of hydrocarbons, in order to regulate their role.

For his part, Ricardo Bertolino, Executive Director of the Argentine Network of Municipalities against Climate Change, pointed out the need to improve the capacity to integrate local leadership through collaborative mechanisms.

Valeria Correa, Senior Manager Latin America, The Climate Group, prioritised focusing on short-term, high-impact actions that allow for permanent control and monitoring without compromising the LTS.

In turn, Daniel Gallegos, director of the "Forests, Biodiversity and Community Development" project of the International Committee for the Development of the Peoples of Guatemala, said it was essential that the local projects promoted be able to generate resources that will allow for their sustainability and projection. As an example, he commented on the issuing of bonds with the re-cultivation and recovery of mangroves.

For her part, Adriana Briceño, from the Development Analysis Area of the Ministry of Planning of Costa Rica, invited participants to take the consolidation of information systems very seriously and to delve deeper into them, given the need to strengthen local policies based on substantive data.

In order to close all the activities of the Joint Regional Event, with the participation of the speakers and those attending the session, an interactive exercise was carried out to prioritise the findings obtained throughout the process. This interaction showed that among the main opportunities identified, the fact that the LTS should be developed based on scientific evidence and be constructed in a participatory manner in order to stimulate a sustainable and inclusive economic reactivation stood out. Furthermore, it was identified that in Latin America and the Caribbean, the transport, agriculture and forestry sectors (electromobility and nature-based solutions) are key to this task.

Finally, Aida Figari, coordinator of the LEDS LAC Platform, summarised the overall figures for this process, offering a tour of what had been a successful joint regional event, naming the 34 activities carried out, the more than 5000 participants who followed them on Zoom, the 11,000 who saw them by streaming, as well as the more than 60 experiences shared by the participating countries.

About EUROCLIMA+

EUROCLIMA+ is the European Union's flagship programme for cooperation with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects on the region by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation, resilience and climate financing.

It is implemented in 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Expertise France (EF), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), and the UN Environment Programme.