The urgent need for bold action to confront the mounting climate crisis brought together heads of state and ministers from more than 20 countries, as well as private sector, civil society, and indigenous representatives, for the High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas on September 8, 2021. The Government of Argentina, joined by the Governments of Barbados, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama, and with support from the United States, hosted the one-day virtual event.
Leaders issued an emphatic call for greater climate ambition and concrete actions from all nations, and especially from the world’s major emitters, to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach. Governments set the stage for a positive outcome at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November 2021 by reinforcing their commitment to ambitious climate action. Barbados announced its intentions to be the first island country to be 100 percent fossil fuel-free by 2030. Colombia, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic announced plans to increase the use of renewable energy, and Chile laid out plans to accelerate the phase out of coal and decarbonize its electricity sector. Argentina reaffirmed its commitment to formalize in Glasgow their enhanced mitigation goal announced at the Leaders Summit on Climate. Several other countries committed to accelerate their climate actions. Participants also agreed to work together to strengthen resilience to climate-related extreme weather events that are causing unprecedented destruction and loss of life, and to prioritize a green recovery from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The United States highlighted its commitment to partner with the countries of the Americas to enhance climate ambition, accelerate climate action through regional cooperation, and strengthen resilience and adaptation. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced U.S. support for regional initiatives such as Renewable Energy for Latin America and the Caribbean (RELAC), through which countries will work collaboratively toward a regional goal of at least 70 percent renewable energy capacity by 2030. He also announced U.S. plans to participate in the Panama-hosted Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas ministerial meeting in February 2022 to advance the clean energy transition in the region. The United States will also host the Ninth Summit of the Americas in summer 2022, where we will convene heads of state to tackle the greatest challenges facing our hemisphere.
The Administration has mobilized a whole-of-government approach to connect ambition to action, including the following selected U.S.-supported programs, initiatives, and partnerships. The United States advances clean energy policies and investment through initiatives including RELAC, the Department of State’s Power Sector Program, the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, and the Global Methane Initiative , supported by agencies including the Department of State, USAID, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and others.
The Departments of State and Commerce foster sustainable trade and investment through initiatives such as the Energy Resource Governance Initiative and environment-focused trade missions. Agencies including the Department of State, Department of Commerce, and NREL promote green transportation through initiatives including The Latin America and the Caribbean Electric Mobility Community of Practice, the Power Sector Program, and the U.S. Go Green and Blue Initiative Latin America.
We support the application of nature-based solutions through initiatives such as the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest finance (LEAF) Coalition, SilvaCarbon, the Regional Fire Management and Response program, the Blue Carbon Inventory Project, and climate adaptation training programs, with support from agencies including USAID, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State, NASA, NOAA, and the Smithsonian Institution.
We also build climate resilience through programs such as the U.S.-Caribbean Resilience Partnership, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the Local2030 Islands Network, the Private Investment for Enhanced Resilience (PIER) project, and collaborative research, training, mapping, and project implementation to address effects of the climate crisis, led by agencies including State, NOAA, Pan-American Health Organization, the U.S. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the North American Electric Reliability Council.