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Increasing Climate Ambition, Improving Human Health, and Spurring Economic Development in the Face of a Pandemic

On 8 December, 09:00–10:00 EST (15:00–16:00 CET), we discussed the challenges and opportunities for countries to raise their climate ambition in a way that also spurs economic development and improves human health by reducing environmental impacts.


8 December 2020
Event contact

Andrea Lindblom

skyline Santiago de Chile

Chile has been one of the countries to increase ambition in its updated national climate action plan, including a commitment on black carbon. Photo: Centre for Climate and Resilience Research

About the event

At the virtual Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December, the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Agreement, co-hosts UN, UK COP26 presidency, and France, in partnership with Chile and Italy, are calling for new and more ambitious NDCs. In the Paris Agreement, governments had agreed to update their 2030 climate targets this year. But only very few countries have done so up until now. 

One reason countries have been slow to come forward with more ambitious NDCs may be that climate mitigation has not been at the top of the agenda for many developing countries that see addressing the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic as their top priority. Throughout the developing world, the pandemic has only exacerbated long-standing aims to alleviate poverty and expand national economies. The COVID-19 recovery has largely eclipsed climate change issues, even though many environmentalists are pushing to create “green” recoveries.

Chile is an exception to this rule. Against the odds, Chile has updated and enhanced its nationally determined contribution, or NDC, under the Paris Agreement.

How did Chile go about identifying policy measures that would work towards all three goals? What sources of development finance are there to help build capacity to conduct a robust and integrated planning process for more sustainable development and increased ambition needed to tackle climate change? What lessons and opportunities are there for other countries updating their NDCs to do so in a way that improves human health locally?

These questions and others were addressed by panelists Laura Gallardo Klenner, Professor, Center for Climate and Resilience Research, University of Chile; Marcelo Mena Carrasco, former Environment Minister and Director, Center for Climate Action, Catholic University of Valparaiso, Graham Watkins, Chief of the Climate Change Division, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); in a conversation with Mark Goldberg, Global Dispatches podcast.

Watch the recording

Listen to the Global Dispatches podcast

Find the episode

“Five Years on from the Paris Agreement, How Can Countries Give A Boost To Their Climate Action Plans?”

on the Global Dispatches site, or directly on iTunes, Google, or Spotify.

SEI team

Chris Malley

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

Ian Caldwell
Ian Caldwell

IT and Data Security Manager

Global Operations

SEI Headquarters

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