A journey through COP’s groupings: AILAC
Published by: Adopt a negotiatorFederico Broccheiri
AILAC is the Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean.
It is composed by Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Peru, mainly middle income countries. Dominican Republic works closely with them, and also Paraguay’s been wishing to become a member. Finally, Mexico and Singapore usually endorse AILAC proposals resulting as friend-countries. Some Party members of AILAC are also member of Central America Integration System (SICA), which represents some of the most vulnerable regions in the world.
The AILAC group was created during COP18 in Doha, as the natural result of a process of continuous integration and consolidation of common positions between its Parties.
Since its establishment, AILAC tried to be a group that bridges the most extreme parts of G77 + China, with the Annex I countries. The main difference between AILAC and G77 + China is that the former believes that while developing countries need financial aid from Annex I countries, they should still deliver some results on mitigation. AILAC finds this both a moral responsibility and a way to respecting the targets that – way before UNFCCC – science has put to the world.
AILAC has also frictions with the EU and AOSIS, which do not want adaptation to be a legally binding target, with AOSIS being very divided internally on this issue. Not to mention Loss & Damage, which all AILAC members agree should not be included inside adaptation, rather being a completely new track. To the argument that some Parties (as the EU) pose, AILAC replies that it is actually possible to quantify damages appropriately and that is’s already been done in the recent past.
With regards to equity, AILAC considers common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capacities (CBDR-RC) a crucial principle “because everyone has to do something”, said Giovanna Valverde, AILAC’s current President from Costa Rica. Moreover, according to Valverde AILAC doesn’t exclude the possibility of endorsing the principle of intergenerational equity in their positions, as they believe there wouldn’t be conflicts with the concept of historical responsibility and because the main, common, goal must be moving forward. AILAC also contrasts G77 + China on gender equality, which has seen particular struggles between Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
Finally, AILAC seems to be very flexible on the duration of the commitment period under the new climate agreement to be reached in Paris. “If we had to chose, we would probably opt for two 5 years commitment periods, although, beyond technicalities, most important is to reach any kind of agreement that gives concrete results”, added Valverde.
THE MOST PROGRESSIVE GROUPING AT THE UNFCCC?
Flexibility, ambition, courage: AILAC seems to have all characteristics I would like to see in a Party.
I personally find remarkable that such a group is able to go beyond technical aspects and to look straight to the contents. Even if countries part of AILAC were not amongst those who contributed the most to the climate crisis, while demanding major economies to take action they are also keen to do their part with mitigation. Also, they show foresight and a considerable amount of courage in considering to embrace a principle as intergenerational equity, which may be the best mean to center the new agreement on future generations’ needs, but may also bring the risk of neglecting historical responsibilities.