Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Can Latin America Achieve Sustainable Development by 2030? Development and Climate Action in 2015 and Beyond

Thursday, October 29, 2015

9 a.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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Conference Concept

Latin America has made considerable social progress in recent years especially on reducing extreme poverty and hunger. The region played a central role in the design of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted last month. Latin American countries are also playing an important part in the UN negotiations to reach a new global agreement on climate change this year. The new agreement will include all countries’ national climate plans, which outline various targets to be achieved by 2030. Despite these advances, business as usual in Latin America is no longer viable. The ongoing economic slowdown across the region has exposed the vulnerability of Latin American countries’ unsustainable development models. A number of leaders’ approval ratings are troublingly low, illustrating how an emboldened citizenry is rejecting corruption and demanding better services, security and infrastructure. Citizens across the region are also very concerned about climate change and other environmental issues, as the impacts of a changing climate are being felt today and are likely to worsen. These impacts could result in billions of dollars in damages, and threaten hard-won development gains.

A panel of experts will discuss the prospects for Latin America to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and the likely implications of a new global agreement on climate change for the region. The discussion will address issues including cities, energy, natural resources, financing sustainable development, national climate change plans, and Latin America’s global partnerships.


Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies


Kevin P. Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy, Boston University

Isabel Cavelier, Minister Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the UN

Christian Gómez, Jr., Director of energy at the Washington office of the Council of the Americas

Ana Rios, Climate Change Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank