Learn all about the Escazú Agreement, the Latinamerican New Green Deal

The pandemic showed us that we must prioritize caring for the environment. Let's see what this agreement consists of .

Aerial view of a highway

We tell you what this agreement that several countries have signed in favor of the environment consists of. / Photo: Deposit Photos

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: ¿Qué es el Acuerdo de Escazú y en qué beneficiaría a América Latina?

This quarantine is showing us the enormous importance of the possibility of caring for the planet. Despite the fact that we are going through a difficult time in health terms, it may be a good occasion to talk about a change in life that turns towards the ecological. In the words of Infobae, "our relationship with the environment became evident", since living on a healthy planet is a fundamental human right.

For example, the La Vanguardia website highlighted that, due to the change in life, the air in China was cleaned faster than ever in history. The same happens with the canals of Venice, which returned to their usual cleanliness, while in Barcelona NO2 levels dropped by 40% from one week to the next. In other words, limiting movements allows the Earth to improve in one way or another.

Against this background, we saw that, according to the website specialized in sustainable development of Revista Clave 21, the Escazú Agreement "had half a sanction in the Argentine Senate", a project that would mean a great advance in environmental terms, not only for the country, but also for Latin America. Let's see, then, what it is about.

What is the Escazú Agreement?

First of all, we must say that it is an agreement that also involves other sectors. For example, the El Desconcierto website highlighted that, although Argentina has already signed the ratification and is awaiting confirmation in the Deputies, Chile has a deadline of September 26 to present its approval with the next environmental commitments.

So far, there are 9 countries that have already ratified the Agreement in full, not counting Argentina. They are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Uruguay. The rest could have signed, but have not ratified it; they have not yet signed or publicly declared not wanting to do so.

So what is this treaty about? Well, according to what La Izquierda Diario highlights, the Escazú Agreement raises "access to information, participation and justice in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean . " Its validity depends on at least eleven of the thirty-six countries in the region ratifying the agreement.

One of the keys to understanding what this link will mean is the extractive and destructive activities proposed by multinationals, which can be endorsed by the governments of the areas. This is highlighted by the specialized website of AIDA Americas, which highlights that, in Latin America, the mining business is promoted by governments as a source of employment and money, but there are also impacts on the environment and the health of the people, being effects that are often hidden.

As it is an international agreement, we see that it is an opportunity for the entire region to generate a regional process so that there is development with an environmental agenda. The executive director of Amnesty International Argentina, Mariela Belski, also commented that the treaty can "guarantee access to information on projects that pollute or enhance climate change."

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Following this line, the Mongobay website highlighted that “environmental justice” is promoted at a regional level, seeking to protect environmental defenders, given that, in the last 4 years, almost 400 people were killed for defending their territories. So, the proposal promoted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean advocates the transparency of the data of each project that could affect the ecosystem of the countries involved.

It would be a unique opportunity for both citizens and politicians themselves to find out what could happen when starting processes that are not very friendly to the environment. For example, the DW website highlighted that there were different oil spills in Latin America, which went unpunished over time.

If the information is transparent and we know what we are exposed to, it is clear that all politicians will know what are the consequences of signing treaties with companies that can be harmful to the Earth. So it remains to be seen whether the initiative ends up becoming a new perspective for the entire continent.

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