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‘Time to stop talking and start acting,’ Environment Minister says

June 7, 2019

Costa Rica’s Environment and Energy Minister, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, spoke in a webinar addressing Latin America’s role in environmental action.

“They offer us $5 per ton of carbon to conserve the forests. It’s an insult what they pay us, since we are the owners of the carbon banks of the planet,” he said.

The webinar was organized by LEDS LAC, LatinClima, ConexiónCOP and ONU Cambio Climático, with the support of Libélula, MINAE and the Spanish Cooperation. More than 120 people from different countries of the region participated.

Rodríguez also announced that the Pre-COP meetings in Costa Rica will take place from Oct. 8-10. He stressed that both the Pre-COP and the COP25 will be spaces in which the relevant negotiations will actually take place — for example, regarding Article 6 of the Paris Agreement Rules Book. Rodriguez said solutions need to be implementation-oriented: “It’s time to stop talking and start acting” he said.

According to the Minister, in Latin America there exists a lack of ambition in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). There are “unacceptable” levels of deforestation and a lack of comprehensive government involvement.

In this regard, Rodríguez also highlighted the financial analysis that countries must take to observe the costs that can be avoided when taking preemptive climate actions. Rodriguez noted that taking measures to help communities better adapt to extreme weather events is, after all, cheaper than dealing with subsequent damage.

He also emphasized the need to invest in adaptation, especially in a region such as Latin America, which suffers the impacts of climate change. He urged countries to plan and design measures that do not necessarily depend on international cooperation, but rather take advantage of the funding sources already available to the nations.

Rodríguez also stressed that better-informed societies are those that can give continuity to climate action, regardless of who wins the elections in the countries. In this sense, the role of journalists and media to inform and exercise political control is considered by Rodriguez as fundamental.

Watch: Rodriguez leads webinar on climate change

The Tico Times is a member of Latin Clima, a collection of journalists and newsrooms working together to report on climate change throughout Latin America. This story was originally published by Latin Clima on May 28, 2019. Read the original Spanish version here.

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