The event drew attention to the fact that Chile is a country highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change both due to geographical factors and the economic dependence on extractive industries. The speeches also highlighted the role of diplomacy and international cooperation.
Eduardo Gálvez, Director of Foreign Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, offered an opening speech on national and international climate change policies, proclaiming “the beginning of the end of fossil fuel based economy” and highlighting the importance of shifting development on a sustainable path. The German Ambassador in Santiago de Chile Rolf Schulze underlined that a sustainable transition required structural changes around the world in order to face climate challenges. Waldemar Coutts, Director of Environment and Maritime Affairs at the MFA, noted the importance of supporting environmental democracy and climate justice. Flavia Liberona, Director of Fundación Terram, maintained that public policies in Chile urgently need to tackle the challenges of climate change and the extractivist economic model, integrating both local demands and international obligations.
The Exhibition highlights various impacts of environmental degradation and the growing scarcity of natural resources: as a threat to human security and economic and political stability, as a cause of tensions and conflicts between social and political groups, and as a cause of violent conflicts. It also explores ways and means for environmental cooperation to serve as an instrument of conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
A press release on the event at the MFA is available on the webpage of Fundación Terram. To read more about the Exhibition at the Congress, please visit the website of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies (both in Spanish).