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Guatemala at COP21


Team Leader: Haliz Doskee

Analyst: Haliz Doskee

At the 2015 Conference of the Parties COP21, Guatemala made it explicitly clear that as a developing country it along with other Annex II countries should be a direct benefactor of all economic climate fund programs. Further to that affect, like other developing nations the developments and frameworks agreed upon at Paris will have huge ramifications on the country’s ability to produce food, develop socioeconomic programs for its population, and impact the country’s ability to preserve its diverse heritage. Guatemalan policy advisors have also noted that anticorruption programs will be essential for the development of any new climate agreements.

As a developing country Guatemala enjoys the privilege of the common but differentiated responsibilities clause. This clause is projected to dictate Guatemala’s capacity to meet its target goals as indicated in its published INDC Report. Guatemala’s most ambitious plan as a developing country is its “plans to achieve 11.2% reduction of GHG emissions [by] 2030. This reduction means that 11.2% emissions in a baseline scenario (BAU English) of 53.85 million tons of CO2 equivalent by 2030, will be reduced to a value of 47.81 million tons of CO2 equivalent in that year.”

Guatemala’s primary concerns included “the characteristics of INDCs, mitigation, capacity building, technology transfer, and capacity building, the payment mechanism for damages and loses, the initial distribution of the resources of the Green Climate Fund to the most affected countries, and agreements within the “Call to Lima Climate Action.” In light of this and national circumstances Guatemala heavily advocated at COP21 that INDCs should reflect the anthropogenic circumstances faced by each individual country.

Any future developments will require the full participation of Guatemala’s diverse population, indigenous communities, governmental institutions, and cooperation with MNCs and TNCs. Furthermore, Guatemala’s capacity to meet its ambitious goals, while developing socioeconomic institutions, combating corruption, and increasingly looking to invest in green tech will present an interesting and challenging endeavour.