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Environmental and climate policy

Biologist attaches a wildlife camera to a tree

Biologist attaches a wildlife camera to a tree, © GIZ/Werner

11.02.2015 - Article

Germany is actively cooperating with its partners in Latin America on environmental and climate issues. Important areas of cooperation are water management, renewable energies, energy efficiency, nature reserve management and support for environmental authorities.

Germany is actively cooperating with its partners in Latin America on environmental and climate issues. Important areas of cooperation are water management, renewable energies, energy efficiency, nature reserve management and support for environmental authorities.

Latin America is especially rich in biodiversity – in terms of ecosystems, species of animals and plants, and genetic resources. It is home to almost half of the world’s tropical forests. In its diverse natural regions it holds undiscovered treasures of great potential value to the future of biotechnology and medicine, for example. At the same time, Latin America is rich in a number of internationally sought‑after finite resources (copper, lithium, various steel stabilisers, rare earths, etc.).

Solar panels on top of the Maracanã Stadium
Solar panels on top of the Maracanã Stadium© GIZ / Florian Kopp

The economic boom in Latin American countries is based to a great extent on the global demand for these raw materials. However, mining these materials has significant consequences for the environment. At the same time, the effects of climate change are especially noticeable in Latin America. Temperatures are on the rise; the distribution of precipitation has changed significantly; glaciers are melting in the Andes region; the number and extent of storms and other natural disasters in Central America and the Caribbean have risen considerably.

Urgent action is needed

A substantial portion of Latin America’s population is concentrated in big cities on the coast. The rise in sea level is a threat especially to them. The effects of climate change on water supplies and food security can already be seen today. This, together with the destruction of valuable natural areas, is an existential threat to the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

As a result of these developments, urgent action is needed – also on the part of Latin American countries – to reduce pollution and to strive for more sustainable development.

Cooperation on climate and the environment

Amazon rain forest
Amazon rain forest© picture-alliance / dpa

Germany is actively cooperating with its partners on environmental and climate issues. This cooperation has been expanding continuously for several years now. Projects in which Germany is involved now have a total volume in the hundreds of millions of euros. Important areas of cooperation are water management, renewable energies, energy efficiency, nature reserve management and support for environmental authorities. Germany has been a leading partner in global rainforest protection and the preservation of biodiversity since the 1990s.

Working together on climate and environmental issues is an important cornerstone of a development cooperation policy that focuses on sustainability. Promoting renewable energy sources and the transition to a low‑carbon economy offers less developed countries in particular a new opportunity for sustainable economic growth and the creation of new jobs.

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