Climate change: Bogota and Buenos Aires lead meeting for 14 of the largest cities in Latin America

Thursday 22 October 2020

Cities agreed on the commitment to boost the development of climate policies, a goal that is of special importance in the context of the recovery of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bogota and Buenos Aires, as regional Vice-Chairs of C40, led the first meeting on "Dialogue on Climate Action in Latin American cities within the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic", where local officers exchanged experiences and crisis solutions with 14 cities of the region for the implementation of environmental policies and climate action strategies.

The meeting is part of the Climate Leadership Group of C40, a network of 97 global cities committed to addressing climate change. Bogota and Buenos Aires represent 12 cities of the Latin American region. Manuel Olivera, Regional Director for Latin America of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group stated: "With the leadership of Buenos Aires and Bogota, many cities will be able to continue on the path to a true green, fair and inclusive recovery which will be reflected in an ambitious climate action plan and, thus, comply with the Paris Agreement."

"The COVID-19 pandemic strengthened the role of cities as key actors in the resolution of global issues. We have an opportunity to generate common urban goals related to climate change and a green recovery for the region", said Fernando Straface, Secretary General and Secretary for International Relations of the City of Buenos Aires, who opened the meeting together with Margarita Barraquer, Secretary General of Bogota. Barraquer said: "We recognize that city management is local, but environmental issues go beyond boundaries. Climate change knows no boundaries. Local governments therefore play an important role. We have the ability to inspire climate change actions in other scenarios, to encourage teamwork, to share experiences and build joint actions."

Senior officials from the cities of Asuncion, Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Guadalajara, Lima, Medellin, Montevideo, Quito, Santiago de Chile, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Salvador de Bahia participated in the meeting.

The two sessions of the meeting were focused on the development of cities on a human scale and on the financing of climate actions. Carolina Irrutia, Secretary of Environment of Bogota, said: "Being connected with what happens on the global stage is the best way to ensure collaboration and cooperation for the city and the region. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that we need to deeply change our living habits, consumption and transport. This is a global challenge and it’s the only way we can leave behind the consequences of climate change."

Eduardo Macchiavelli, Secretary of Environment of Buenos Aires, said: "Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be in the streets and in public spaces. Cities are the places where we need to reimagine our future and the future of our families."

A second meeting will be held on 12 November with the Mayor of Bogota, Claudia López Hernández, Mayor of the City of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Mayor of Los Angeles and current Chair of C40, Eric Garcetti, jointly with other mayors of the region.