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Strengthening Climate Change Policies in Buenos Aires, Mexico City and Sao Paulo

Project Reference: AAGL-0009F

Buenos Aires, São Paulo and Mexico DF are the three central cities of the largest Latin America urban areas. They are an increasingly important source of greenhouse gases in each of their countries and at the same time they are very vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

During the last few years, the governments of Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo have taken steps and made commitments to address climate change issues. All three cities have passed climate change legislation and approved programs and strategies aiming to reduce GHG emissions and to adapt to climate change. Moreover, during the Rio +20 Summit, the mayors from the three cities signed a Joint Declaration (also known as the G3 Declaration) in which they stressed that local governments should take an active role in addressing climate change issues and they made a series of commitments to generate a common environmental agenda.

This project aims to generate policy analysis and inputs to strengthen the climate change agenda and policies in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Mexico City and to contribute to the emerging process of cooperation on sustainability issues between these three main cities of Latin America. In this context, this project addresses two main issues:

First, climate change raises great governance challenges for these local governments. As mentioned above, all three cities have passed climate change legislation, programs and strategies; however the level of effective progress and implementation of these initiatives varies significantly. Why? What explains these variations in the progress and implementation of different climate policy commitments and policies at the local level?

The second main issue addressed by this research proposal is how to finance climate change policies. Public policies aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to climate change impacts put additional pressure on the cities’ budgets and raise the need for additional resources. In fact, the Joint Declaration signed by the three mayors in the Rio + 20 Summit expressly addressees this issue by stating that the three local governments will explore the development of joint funding mechanisms, especially for the purchase, transfer and local development of clean technologies. In this context, this research project analyses what funding opportunities are open for these cities to finance climate policies and what are the potential mechanisms for developing a common strategy for climate funding between Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Mexico City.

This project is Stage 2 of the CDKN Innovation Fund, which aims to identify mechanisms for strengthening resilience, highlighting opportunities where the private sector and civil society networks can help build the capacity of government agencies to respond to climate-related risks. The outcome of this project will be increased collaboration and knowledge sharing among a network of partners in Latin America around urban resilience issues.

Stage 1 of this Innovation Fund project, Resilient Cities Action Lab: Creating partnerships for climate risk preparedness in Latin America (AAGL-0009B) took an action-research approach to provide a framework for engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders by analysing key institutional gaps, and best practice from other regions.

The project Stage 2 will produce a series of research outputs including research outputs covering the three cities. Moreover, two journal articles and two policy briefs will be produced, followed by seminars, workshops and a possible participation in the COP20 in Lima to disseminate the results.



CDKN funding: 197,000

CDKN contact: Carolina Proaño-Castro (Quito) and Sebastian Kratzer (London)

Lead partner: Fundación Ambiente Y Recursos Naturales (FARN) Contact:  Daniel Ryan

Project Ppartners:

  • Brazilian research team led by Rachel Biderman
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma De México


Photo courtesy of Ãngel M. Felicísino

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