Cuba In The Right Context
The Agreement signed at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change COP21, held in Paris, has brought celebrations and also skepticism around the globe.
We have achieved a milestone with the first universal binding agreement to address the human impact on climate change. From this point on, countries will be required to review every five years their plans to comply with the Agreement.
Developed nations also pledged to help with financial assistance, in the magnitude of hundreds of billions of dollars to help developing countries to reach the same goals.
Another major advance was the aspiration to establish the ceiling for the increase in average global temperatures by 1.5 degrees, compared to pre-industrial levels. This is a much more ambitious plan than the 2.0 degrees limit, planed in previous forums. Similarly, the adopted resolution intends to make efforts aiming to get zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions before the second half of this century.
This is the result of advances in many areas, such as the science underlying the causes and consequences of climate change and the actions of activists, politicians, governments and entrepreneurs around the world. There is a change in global sentiment and a greater awareness of the environmental problem that can only be addressed by ingenuity and international cooperation.
As for the skeptics, they wonder whether the Agreement will be fairly sufficient to address a problem of such gravity. Also, it is necessary that, at least the 55 countries responsible for most of the emissions, ratify it during next year.
In Cuba we have an excellent opportunity to promote a model of development based on renewable energies and environmental responsibility. The Island has started it’s most important economic reforms of recent decades, precisely, in this global context of promoting innovation and the adoption of green technologies. This is an opportunity for the consolidation of new habits of production and consumption that would result in a sustainable economy and also function as a suitable development model for the 21st century.
Among the unique opportunities offered by the Island are: (i) a skilled workforce, (ii) high levels of education and (iii) a society and government that have promoted environmental awareness for many years. Taken together, these factors create the highest probability for success.
Investing in companies with such a profile in Cuba and unveiling new experiences, innovation and networks that can impact technologically and culturally the region, can mean an important step and a unique competitive advantage for those working towards the goals set in Paris.