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OAS Countries Reaffirm Commitment to Addressing Climate Change, 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development

  October 4, 2023

The member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) today adopted the Nassau Declaration and the Inter-American Climate Action Plan 2023-2030, a set of commitments and strategic guidelines that collectively seek to promote actions of the OAS and collaboration between governments, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to develop innovative solutions to climate change that prioritize sustainability, resilience and inclusion.

The Fourth Inter-American Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Sustainable Development in Nassau, The Bahamas, adopted the Declaration and Plan of Action by acclamation. In the Declaration, member states commit to:
• “Working tirelessly to effectively implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner;”
• Proactively conserve and sustainably manage and protect the ocean and other bodies of water, promoting good governance for transboundary waters, including through appropriate measures that promote responsible stewardship of the marine and freshwater ecosystems of each State;
• Strengthen the implementation of mitigation action through the reduction, sequestration and elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, including accelerating our just transitions to clean and renewable energy technologies, affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy sources and away from emissions-intensive sources of energy such as unabated coal power, and promoting the widespread adoption of energy efficiency policies; and
• Align our sustainable development national policies, strategies, and action plans with the targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, the Global Biodiversity Framework, Convention on Biological Diversity, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction among other regional scope agreements.
• Emphasize the role of nature-based solutions and/or ecosystem-based approaches, which are very broad in scope and encompass social, environmental and economic issues; and
• Enhance hemispheric collaboration and cooperation to support ecosystems conservation and restoration initiatives.
• Promote efforts to bolster regional cooperation in renewable energy technologies, utilizing the ECPA framework to champion clean energy transitions throughout the Americas.

The Plan of Action agreed to by member states is a framework designed to address the pressing challenges posed by climate change in the Americas. It aims to “promote sustainable development while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to climate change impacts, and transitioning to a low-greenhouse gas, climate-resilient economy.”

The key activities called for in the Plan are:
• Accelerating clean, sustainable, renewable and just energy transitions in the Americas
• Integrated Water Resources Management
• Disaster Risk Management and Building Resilience, and
• Climate Change: Addressing Climate Change in the Americas.

Finally, OAS member states highlighted the pressing need to bolster their ability to tap into climate funds. They also stressed the pivotal role of a regional hub, aimed at bridging the prevailing capacity gaps in accessing these funds.

In his closing remarks, the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Nestor Mendez, noted that “our collective resolve and actions will secure a brighter, more sustainable future for the Americas, emphasizing the urgency of climate action and the importance of collaboration in tackling the existential threat of climate change.”

For his part, the Minister of Economic Affairs of The Bahamas, Michael Halkitis, said “The past few days have been an enriching and meaningful experience. We leave the Bahamas having made concrete commitments and set in place a Plan of Action that will serve as a North Star for our Inter-American efforts to address the climate crisis. This is indeed commendable.”

The ministerial was preceded by the Climate Finance in the Americas Meeting, also held in Nassau.

Reference: E-062/23