Pacific Alliance Ups Ante at UN Climate Summit

Four nations of Latin America’s $2.1 trillion trade bloc is a “single voice” in combating climate change, presidents declare

Published by Anadolu Agency Dec 11

The Pacific Alliance trade bloc vowed Wednesday to tackle climate change as a united front.

The four presidents of the $2.1 trillion bloc that includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, issued a joint declaration at the United Nations climate change summit, highlighting the urgency for global action and sustainable development.

From melting glaciers in Peru’s Andes to droughts in Colombia, all countries are vulnerable to an overheating planet, they said.

“Our shared objectives and similar objectives are a clear manifestation of our purpose to speak as a single voice and act on this transcendental issue about what we do with climate change and what actions we take,” said Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos.

The free market-leaning economies of the alliance make up about 40 percent of Latin America’s $5.8 trillion gross domestic product. That gives them clout against the dominant Mercosur trade bloc in the region.

Delegates from almost 200 nations in Peru’s capital of Lima are negotiating a draft text for a global climate pact next year in Paris, replacing the Kyoto treaty that expires in 2020.

“The success of Paris depends in good measure on Lima,” said Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet. “We have a right not to fail.”

The countries backed efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, though called for adaptation measures to be included in the Paris agreement.

Following Mexico’s lead in pledging $10 million to the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries prepare for climate change, Colombia and Peru on Wednesday announced contributions of $6 million each.

The countries will set up a network for climate science research, the presidents said in the declaration.

Global leaders have to “break paradigms” in its current trajectory development, said Peruvian president and summit host, Ollanta Humala.

The world has to leave behind the binary choice of “economic growth or conservation of the planet” as the Mayan, Incan and Aztec civilization achieved, Humala added, following the words of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The three-year alliance agreed in Feburary to eliminate 92 percent of tariffs on goods between members, working toward full integration free of barriers.

Part of this is the Latin America Integrated Market stock exchange network, or MILA, which allows brokerages to trade equities listed on other countries’ bourses.

Costa Rica is in the process of becoming a member of the Pacifice Alliance, while Panama’s president has expressed his country’s interest in joining the bloc.

The Pacific Alliance’s main contender, Mercosur, makes up more than $3 billion of regional growth, composed of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

(Photo: Alex Pashley)

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