We believe that development should be sustainable in every aspect.
In many Latin American large urban areas, the coincidence of economic and population growth, frequently inefficient use of energy and resources, and high levels of emissions, has generated a mix of negative externalities, such as air and water pollution and congestion, among others. Despite the fact that some cities has reduced the intensity of their emissions during the last two decades, there is still the need for sustainable planning at a regional context, that not only considers urban areas, but also the areas that provide the environmental services to such metropolis.
Urban sustainability is greatly important for Latin American cities, due to their high level of urbanization. Thus, there is an imminent challenge for Latin American cities while facing climate change (cities are the main responsible for CO2 emissions, they hold more than 50% of the population, and consume around two thirds of the energy consumed globally), and it is demanding urgent mitigation and adaptation measures.
Therefore, there is the need to propose and evaluate sustainable strategies that foster eco-efficiency and a low carbon economy, particularly oriented to Latin American countries. In this regard, we would like to highlight the requirement of researching strategies that, for instance, promote the development of a low carbon infrastructure, that would make a contribution for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
Other sensible environmental areas for Latin America, a region highly intensive in the use of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, and in which more research is needed due to their public good characteristics, are biodiversity conservation and environmental burdens. Moreover, due to their diverse environmental, social and economic impacts, it is also crucial to focus on energy policies and plans alternatives. All the previous issues have intra- and inter-generational equity consequences that would need to be considered and researched, in a region-specific context.
We believe that environmental regulation should be a pivotal component of a sustainable development strategy, and the Centre for New Development Thinking is committed to supporting research that aims to increase their relevance from a multidimensional perspective.