Argentina (1) Strengthen country’s Paris Agreement pledge (2) Improve implementation of existing emission reduction policies.
Argentina has revised its pledge to the Paris Agreement, and now proposes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unconditionally to 483 MtCO2e by the year 2030. This is a revised and improved figure from 570 MtCO2e in the original NDC. The revised NDC pledge also suggests that the country may be able to reach a conditional target of 369 MtCO2e contingent on support from the international community. Although the establishment and revision of targets was a significant achievement for the country, Argentina can still strengthen its INDC further. One ambitious step would be to make the conditional target into an unconditional one. The fact that Argentina set this target means, that it believes it is feasible. Hence, Argentina should establish 369 MtCO2e as an unconditional target then devise a detailed and concrete strategy to ensure that the requisite conditions mentioned in the INDC are met: a.) International finance b.) Support in the transfer, innovation and development of technology c.) Support in building capacity to spread good practice and effectively implement proposed measures.
The most important way for Argentina to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to successfully implement the strategies and policies it has proposed. The country has made some laudable plans for reducing emissions across various sectors. However, it now needs to make good on those promises. For example, in the energy sector, Argentina intends to improve the share of renewable energy sources to 8% in 2018, 16% in 2021 and 20% by 2025. Of course, this will be easier said than done. Achieving these targets will mean not only ramping up production from renewable sources, but also limiting growth of non-renewable energy sources as well.
In the effort to reduce global emissions and minimize the scale of climate change, it is important for knowledge and best practices to be shared across countries. Perhaps equally important is the transfer across localities within a country. Over 90% of Argentina’s population live in urban areas, thus it is logical to look at cities as important actors in this pursuit. Some Argentinian cities, most notably Buenos Aires, have been recognized for their recent efforts. For example, the capital city created a Plan for Sustainable Mobility which seeks to boost affordable public and non-motorized transport. Other cities should be encouraged to follow suit and create their own policies. When effectively implemented at the city level, these will have a cumulative effect on emissions across the country while also improving sustainability and livability for local residents.