Argentine president commits to fighting climate change
Alberto Fernandez reaffirms commitment to environmental action, insisting 'it is now or never' at climate summit
The president of Argentina participated in a virtual summit alongside 40 global leaders who pledged to tackle climate change.
Alberto Fernandez thanked US President Joe Biden for the invitation and reaffirmed Argentina's efforts to put "climate and environmental action" at the center of his government's agenda.
"It is now or never," insisted Fernandez. "I have instructed our National Climate Change Cabinet to prepare the National Adaptation and Mitigation Plan - to be presented at COP 26 in Glasgow,” he said, referencing the UN Climate Change Conference in the first half of November.
He also stressed that the nation will honor the Paris Agreement.
"I call on us to coordinate regional and solidarity measures. The new generations look to us. The time of doubt is over - no one is saved alone," said Fernandez as he encouraged joint action from Latin American and Caribbean governments.
"We assume the commitment to develop 30% of the national energy matrix with renewable energy," as part of Argentina's agenda to reduce its environmental footprint, he said.
He also announced that he would send an environmental bill to protect native forests. "We will adopt profound measures to eradicate illegal deforestation, classifying it as an environmental crime."
Fernandez said international credit organizations should contribute more, particularly with contributions "for ecosystem services" and "debt swaps for climate action."
He also raised the issue of negotiations with the IMF, pointing out that he believes environmental justice goes hand in hand with social and financial justice. "Let's go through a different time together with social, financial and environmental justice," said Fernandez.
He insisted that the coronavirus pandemic has worsened Argentina's economy and debt restructure now requires "greater flexibility of terms, rates and conditions."
Fernandez also said that Argentina will promote the Federal Environmental Education Law to create more cultural awareness in the South American nation.