Argentina, without policies to address climate change

In 2015, the country will probably be forced to reduce its emissions. The state has no initiatives.

Next year will be key to tackling climate change. At the summit to be held in Paris in 2015 the nations must sign an agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
While the Kyoto Protocol Argentina was not required to take action, it is likely that this new covenant itself is included.

“Argentina emits 8.5 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per person. More than many developed countries that took commitment to the Kyoto Protocol as Greece or Portugal and almost as France and Italy.

Raul A. Estrada-Oyuela, representing the Argentina Foreign Ministry between 2000 and 2007 in international environmental negotiations, agrees: “If there was an agreement, albeit insufficient, hardly Argentina retain the privilege of not being beholden to any form of contribution.”

He adds: “We have a high level of emissions of greenhouse gases. That’s really irresponsible for the federal government looks the other way, do not take mitigation or adaptation, and international negotiations associated with Venezuela or pretend to hide behind Haiti and Senegal. ”

Barros is vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body charged with developing a scientific report on this issue. During his visit to Córdoba gave details of the latest work, which confirms that the human being is the dominant force that is changing the climate.

Between 1880 and 2012, the average global temperature increased by 0.85 degrees. In the past two decades, the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica have lost mass, as the world’s glaciers and Arctic ice. From 1900 to the present sea level rose 0.19 meters. In the past 60 years there were also changes in rainfall patterns.

The greenhouse gases that humans emitted when consume fossil fuels are adding more energy to Earth. The planet receives from the Sun 250 watts per square meter. In 2011, greenhouse gas added 2.3 watts more. “It’s almost a hundred more than what we receive from the Sun. That every day and every year end up generating new climatic conditions,” Barros said.

The future

Today we have exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, the main greenhouse gas. If nothing is done, the 1,370 ppm will be reached and the temperature will rise 4.5 degrees by the end of this century.

“The outlook changed emissions and that will affect Argentina. Emerging countries such as Argentina had a sudden growth of their emissions in recent years, while developed countries have not increased much. Emissions of both groups are equal, “said Barros.

According to Estrada-Oyuela, this complex scenario reduces the chances of arriving at a good deal. “At the moment there is no strong evidence to that effect and the little that has been said, there is sufficient consensus predicts” he says.

Barros believes that 2015 is going to take any action because both China and USA, the two main polluting countries and economic powers, gave signs of wanting to reduce their emissions.

Other countries have announced measures are members of the European Union, Japan, India and Brazil.

However, in recent negotiations Argentina has not made ​​a specific proposal for reducing emissions. Its position had flirted with Bolivia and Venezuela) and the historic G77 plus China, a heterogeneous group of developing nations.

National solutions

“Argentina should adopt measures that affect mitigation and adaptation and at the same time are economically desirable,” said Estrada-Oyuela.

For Barros the key to reducing emissions is to sequester carbon from deforestation and biofuels. “It’s an opportunity for countries Argentina because there is enough space to do it. We can multiply by 10 our forest area in 15 years and have negative CO2 emissions as Uruguay “exemplifies Barros.

Estrada-Oyuela adds more urban measures “should be streamlined and more efficient use means of transport. Also introduce rules to streamline buildings and limit the use of heating and air conditioning. Finally, to price the collection of municipal solid waste, other emission source according to their volume and quality. ”

By Lucas Viano |