Optimism and prudence among ecologists in Ibero-America due to Biden’s environmental turn

Across Ibero-America, environmental defenders celebrate Joe Biden’s plans to reposition the fight against climate change as one of the priorities of his administration.

“A tremendous news that will reduce the pressure to the rest of the countries”

“The return of the United States to the Paris agreement means that the world community will be able to count on a 25% reduction in global emissions that are in charge of the North American economy,” says Sara Larraín, director of the Sustainable Chile program. “Obviously it is tremendous news that will reduce the pressure on the rest of the countries of the international community to have to make superhuman efforts to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2050.”

“A very strong political signal”

From Argentina they remind us that the United States, together with China, is the country with the highest greenhouse gas emissions and that the global social pressure to act is increasing.

“When we talk about climate change, the United States is obviously a country that has the greatest responsibility in terms of emissions,” explains Enrique Maurtua Konstantinidis, advisor to the FARN Foundation. “In that sense, what the United States does or does not do is very important. And that is why Biden took that measure in the first package of decrees that he signed as soon as he took office is a very strong political signal.”

Precisely some young people, like these activists from Colombia and Ecuador, show optimism, but without raising the bells to the flight until they see concrete initiatives.

From said to fact

“One makes the difference between being aware of the problem and recognizing it, which is what Biden does, and another thing is actually doing something,” says activist Laura Verónica Muñoz.

“The important thing with the Paris agreement is that it really be fulfilled. That they do not remain in false promises, that this does not happen in my country Ecuador, but at the international level”, Helena Gualinga recalls.

Ibero-American environmental agenda

Regardless of the United States, the Ibero-American countries agreed last September to share an environmental agenda related, among other issues, to biodiversity and the change in the production and consumption model.

And paradoxically, despite the fact that Donald Trump reneged on the Paris Climate Agreement, the situation derived from the pandemic has meant that polluting emissions in his country have been reduced by more than ten percent during 2020, meeting the objectives of the treaty.