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A way ahead for low carbon development - Latin America and the Caribbean Carbon Forum

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica – With more than 900 registered attendants from over 46 countries, the 6th Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum demonstrated the growing interest in the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and in emerging instruments that can lead to a new development paradigm: Low carbon development supported by a new framework for climate financing mechanisms.

Developers of low carbon projects, financiers, the private sector, forestry specialists and government agencies came together to discuss means of achieving low-carbon development pathways. The 3-day event included discussions on the state of the carbon markets, including existing mechanisms such as CDM and REDD+, and emerging ones such as National Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) and how they link to Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS).

“Our threats are not of a military nature, but social and environmental. Using a triple bottom line approach which successfully combines economy, ecology and equity, we will position our country as a front runner of eco-competitiveness among countries aiming to achieve low carbon development,” said René Castro, Costa Rica's Minister of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications.

For more than 10 years, the CDM, as well as other voluntary offset schemes, have provided a vast pool of public and private sector experiences and expertise. The lessons and an important base of existing capacity could and should be used in the future global and national climate change regime.

The biggest concern resonating among participants was the lack of international medium and long-term policy signals and guidance needed for a global carbon market to further develop and reach the required scale. The showcasing of emerging current national-level actions and initiatives was seen as a positive signal in this context.

“We are heading toward a global low carbon economy. Governments must continue to keep further defining the international policy framework to facilitate this transformation, while mobilizing the private sector, which has the most access to innovation and the investment capital needed for this transformation,” said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Countries and cities showcased how they integrate the reduction of greenhouse gases into their development planning and implementation. Participants learnt that it is possible to achieve national goals while at the same time delivering a global good: mitigating climate change. A lot of learning is still necessary in order when designing LEDS and identifying, structuring and implementing NAMAs.

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