Latin America: 2014 Climate Legislation Study Released: Today, the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International) released the 4th edition of the Climate Legislation Study – produced in partnership with the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. The Study is a comprehensive audit of climate legislation across 66 countries, together responsible for around 88% of global manmade greenhouse gas emissions. This includes the following Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Of the above, Mexico and Bolivia stood out as having made the most progress on Climate Change legislation during 2013. Mexico, following up on its 2012 General Law on Climate Change, announced the creation of the Climate Change National System and the Inter-secretarial Committee on Climate Change. It also adopted the National Climate Change Strategy. This strategy sets out the main focal areas regarding cross-sectoral climate policy, adaptation to climate change and reduction of GHG emissions, and reinforces Mexico’s GHG mitigation targets. In October 2012 Bolivia passed The Mother Earth Law and Integral Development to Live Well, Law No 300 of 2012. The law is a sweeping overhaul of the national management of natural resources, climate, and ecosystem.
Peru and Colombia: No More Visas for EU Travel: The European Parliament today voted to allow visa-free travel for citizens of Peru and Colombia to countries in the Schengen Area in Europe. The vote came during a meeting held today in Strasbourg, where 523 out of 577 EU representatives voted in favour of the measure. The decision means citizens of both countries will no longer require a visa for short stays (up to 90 days) in the Schengen area, whether for tourism or business purposes. The elimination of the visa requirement for both countries’ nationals was proposed last August by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The Schengen Area comprises 22 of the 28 countries of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden, along with non-members Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
Amazon Deforestation Outside of Brazil Remains High: According to a report by Terra-I, deforestation in the Amazon continues to grow a high rate in eight of the nine countries that the rainforest covers. The study shows whilst in Brazil – which contains 60% of the rainforest – deforestation has dropped from 2.7m hectares in 2004 to 465,000 hectares in 2012; in the other eight countries, 2.3m hectares of forest razed between 2004 and 2012. The countries included are: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The majority of the deforestation occurs as the agricultural frontier in the countries expands; with land used either for grazing or for planting of crops. The rainforest’s expensive woods are also sought after, mostly for export.