Last week, Peru’s unicameral Congress cleared legislation that would require all levels of government in the country to include climate change adaptation and mitigation in their policies and projects. The goal of the legislation is to reduce the country’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change. Legislator Wuilian Monterola expressed that the legislation will “serve as a backbone to the work that is being done in the special commission on Climate Change, commissioned by the Plenary of Congress.”
The legislation is the result of three years of work by the Congress and a compilation of many different bills. The final step in the process requires the President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, to sign the legislation into law. The legislation is Ley 1314/2016-PE. The law includes the requirement that subnational governments report climate change decisions that have been adopted to the Environment Ministry. Additionally, the ministries that form the Cabinet must provide the Environment Ministry with the annual inventory of greenhouse gases and carbon reserves that the government possesses. The legislation also addresses one of the major issues impacting the climate in Peru, deforestation. Additionally, the legislation establishes a new High Level Commission on Climate Change, which will have the power to make decisions regarding climate change in the country and help the country meet goals in the Paris Climate Accord.
The Ministerio del Ambiente has a useful website that outlines the reasons for having a framework law on climate change. The site lays out the advantages of having a framework law on climate change: everyone will save by avoiding costs related to disasters that occur due to climate change; citizens will have more information and access to measures to adapt to extreme climate changes; private enterprises will have new abilities to adapt green technologies; the state will integrate climate change planning into all aspects of work to improve quality of life for all; it will strengthen the commitment to fulfill goals of the Paris Climate Accord.
Once signed by the President, Peru will become the third country in Latin America, along with Mexico and Honduras, to pass framework legislation on climate change. Mexico passed legislation in 2012, and Honduras passed legislation in 2014. This is a far cry from the current state of affairs in the United States, where all mention of climate change has been removed from the EPA website and from FEMA’s latest strategic plan.
Chauvin, Lucien O. Peru to Require Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation Strategies, International Environment Reporter, March 21, 2018.