Ricardo Lagos in Clarin: Has Green Wave Riding Arrived to Latin America?
(Picture: Ricardo Lagos during a debate in a UN General Assembly, in 2001) Former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, who was recently addressed United Nations adviser to assist general secretary Ban Ki-moon in negotiations regarding Climate Change, appeared in Argentina's biggest newspaper yesterday with a column urging political action towards the Global Warming issue, specially in developing countries. The text called our attention, as the politician's naming took place in between complaints from Chilean activists that claimed Lagos was jumping in the "green wave" as a political move, trying to follow the steps of Al Gore. According to the UN, one of the former president's merits was to have created during his government a foundation called Democracy and Development, whose aim is to promote sustainable development.
"We have to act now, and to do it, we need everybody's political will", he wrote in Clarin. "Our goal is to achieve by 2012 commitments that involve every country to take action. Developing countries also have to take part in this great goal of stopping Global Warming: we know that in order to grow and develop we (referring to emerging nations) need energy, but the actual prices of traditional fuels allow us to consider non contaminant sources and force us to be more efficient in their use". He continued: "We need to follow Japan's example, a country that's at the top in matters of energetic efficiency, and at the same time, we have to privilege clean energy generation sources. Those are the two roads we have to push now".
Before ending the article, Lagos referred to civil action and non-governmental parties as allies: "To achieve our goal, we count with growing collaboration from society in different parts of the world: in the USA more than 300 cities have agreed, in a municipal level, to set a top for their emissions. We also count with the support of NGOs such as the Madrid Club, which is working with the United Nations in a proposal that could serve as initial drawer for the post Kyoto 2012 agreement".
We will need to see Lagos' steps in the coming years to see whether he is actually a climate advocate or just another politician trying to paint himself green. ::Original Article (Spanish)
Additional information via Chilean Newspaper La Nacion