Climate Change and Latin America: The Long Way to Copenhagen

11 November 2009

Only a few regions in the world are more affected by climate change than Latin America. Yet, the region is not speaking with a strong voice, in part because a common perspective is lacking. The impact of climate change is already apparent through more frequent and severe tropical storms, as well as greater incidence of diseases like dengue fever. The melting of Andean glaciers and the subsequent floods and droughts are affecting agriculture and health. In fact, between 2001 and 2005 climate-related disasters had an impact on 7.5 percent of the population in lower-middle-income countries, up from 1.5 percent of the population in 1976-1980; while in higher-income countries this figure remains very low. Thus, it is imperative that Latin America considers global climate change negotiations in Copenhagen as a top priority.