Peru Vows To Address Climate Change
With June’s Earth Summitin Rio de Janeiro fast approaching, Rainforest Cruises found it heartening to attend Peru’s launch of Planificación ante el Cambio Climático (PLANCC), a domestic climate change initiative to lower carbon emissions in its fast-growing economy.
It is a cross-ministerial initiative, including the State Department, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of the Economy, and the National Centre for Strategic Planning. This joined-up approach reflects a realization that, while at the last study Peru only emits 0.4% of the world’s greenhouse gases, these emissions are increasing and climate change is a cross-border issue that cannot be ignored.
Peru's model is based on one developed by South Africa, similar to those being implemented in Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil, and is being sponsored by the Swiss government. These local plans were formed, in part, because an ambitious global agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions has been delayed by disagreements between the developed and developing world.
The Amazon is both a victim of climate change and a key part of the solution. There have been record water levels in the Amazon basin this year, as a result of heavy rains there, and in the Andes Mountains, which drains into countless Amazon tributaries. And if there is going to be a curb on the global emission of greenhouse gases, it is vital that Amazonia, often called the ‘Lungs of the World’, remains intact.
Peru's long-term climate change plan aims to include more renewable fuels in Peru's energy matrix, switch to a low-carbon economy and curb illegal logging in the Amazon rain forest, while at the same time continuing the country’s economic growth. It is Rainforest Cruises’ hope that sustainable tourism will play a large part in achieving both goals.