This year, we were so excited to have 7 journalism fellows from across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) covering COP26. They came from Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, and Guyana, and reported meaningful stories for the entire region.
The latest report prepared by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) makes it clear that this region is already intensely affected by climate change. And we’re happy to support young journalists and storytellers in sharing their realities with the rest of the world.
Get to know them and be sure to check out their stories in this LAC-COP26 wrap up. From warnings of “death sentences” for Caribbean Islands if climate change is not controlled, to unfulfilled promises and ambitious and promising projects, you do not want to miss these stories.
Guilherme’s favorite areas to cover are Education, Health, Science and Sustainability. He’s an Earth Journalism Network (EJN) and International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) fellow and he’s won over a dozen national journalism awards, a number of them related to climate stories written over the years. Stories he publishes are supported by his cats, Mia and Elias.
- COP26 “It’s now or now”, says scientist Mercedes Bustamante. Professor at the University of Brasília and member of the IPCC talks about expectations for Brazil and the world at the most awaited UN conference of the year.
- COP26: expectations for advancing the achievements of the Paris Agreement and Brazil’s role in the crisis of the century. Rich biodiversity and historical importance reinforce Brazil’s role in the discussions that will define the directions and commitments of the world in combating the climate crisis.
- With $100 billion a year target far away, poorer countries demand climate finance promised by rich governments. One of the main goals during COP26 was to mobilize donations from developed countries, ensuring that they fulfilled the promise made in 2009.
- Energy transition: what’s missing for us to quit fossil fuels? Dependence on oil, coal and natural gas still represents a major challenge for governments seeking an urgent path towards cleaner and safer energy generation.
- Towards the green transition and mass zero-emission transport. In the global search for less greenhouse emissions, combustion vehicles have given way to electric mobility. But zero carbon transport is still advancing very slowly.
- Brazil to declare support on 1.5°C targets—with little work at home. The country used to lead the ambition on climate but has failed in its promise to end deforestation. Now, they assure they will cut methane and reduce emissions to 50% by 2030, but how are they going to do it?
- COP26 speeches need to be put into practice. Did COP26, which brought together representatives from approximately 200 countries to discuss the future of the planet, really manage to do what was expected?
- Discredited, Brazil has the opportunity to resume the environmental agenda with commitments at COP26. While the climate crisis leaves evident effects in the country, with recent heat records, snow records and historic drought, experts demand a resumption of the green protagonist.
Vishani is a 21-year-old journalist from Guyana with a special interest in science journalism (focusing on health and climate change). In 2019, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) selected her as Guyana’s Young Journalist of the Year. She’s received health journalism awards from PAHO and recognition for her work on human rights issues, investigative reporting, and science and technology coverage.
- The best of both worlds? Guyana wants to be a low-carbon oil producer. The country’s leaders argue it can still be a net zero carbon emitter, meaning that the harmful gases released into the atmosphere by oil can be balanced out by their forests.
- Guyana and Suriname champion payments to save forests at global summit. The Surinamese president stated that “appropriate compensation means and mechanisms” are needed to support Suriname’s and other forest-rich countries’ transition towards using renewable energy.
- Leaders pledge to save trees at COP26, while Indigenous people ask for land rights. “We are doing the job without even having legal recognition so give us our titles, our extensions that we have been asking for”, says a Wapichan indigenous woman from Guyana.
- Barbados PM warns of ‘death sentence’ for low lying states if climate change is not controlled. Prime Minister Mia Mottley was the only Caribbean leader to speak at the COP26 opening ceremony and she gave a strong speech.
Julieta also studies anthropology at the National University of San Martín (Argentina), and usually works with issues related to gender, migration and environment. She ‘s had collaborated with media such as Nueva Sociedad, El Grito del Sur, Latfem and El Cohete a la Luna, among others. Since 2020 she has been part of the fourth generation in the LATAM Network of Young Journalists, an initiative from Distintas Latitudes to promote regional journalism and highlight new talent.
- Argentina before COP 26: between indebtedness and the urgency of the energy transition. In recent years, the country’s environmental problems have become much more radical, but at the same time they face a serious debt problem, contracted during the presidency of Mauricio Macri. How are they going to face it?
- Defenders of the earth: indigenous Mexican women reflect at COP26. They attended COP26 to demand that the voices of the peoples who defend the environment and territory be heard. What’s the story behind it?
- Artificial intelligence based on environmental awareness. In recent years, environmental issues have been increasingly on the public agenda. Even so, in most Latin American countries there are no specific laws aimed at raising awareness on the subject.
- COP26: Climate justice is yet to be achieved. COP26 left many doubts and hopes unfulfilled. One of the issues that remained in the pipeline is that of climate justice. How are environmental crimes compensated?
Zico is currently the Assistant Editor at Cari Bois Environmental News Network, he conceptualised and hosts a local television show called “Trinidad is a Real Place” on TTT Limited, and he’s a Communications Officer at The Cropper Foundation – a non-profit that advocates for the advancement of sustainable development in the Caribbean region. Zico is passionate about environmental advocacy, learning languages, and karate.
- Caribbean climate youth ambassadors left to find their own way to COP26. They say they have gotten little to no support to attend COP26 despite representing the demographic that stands to face the worst effects of the climate crisis.
- Caribbean negotiators should seek solutions and support at COP26. This year, Trinidad and Tobago has seen unprecedented amounts of flooding that has led to the destruction of roadways and property in communities across the country.
- Loss and damage: Island states battle for survival in search of funding at COP26. “Immoral and unjust,” is how the Prime Minister of Barbados branded failures to deliver critical loss and damage funding to small islands.
- Caribbean island is the world’s 5th per capita emitter and needs a “bolder” climate plan. Currently Trinidad and Tobago’s climate plan is out of date: it was submitted in 2018, but should’ve been updated in 2020. Devon Gardner, Head of the Energy Unit at CARICOM, gives us key insights about it.
- ‘A matter of life or death’. COP26 opened in Glasgow, Scotland, with a nod to the devastating impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)—a group to which Trinidad and Tobago belongs.
Amanda is currently reading for an MSc in Journalism, Media, and Globalisation. Every story she produces reflects her perspective as a woman, as Latin American, as an immigrant. Amanda’s work has been published by Al-Jazeera and EU Observer and National Geographic. When she’s not eating guinea pig’s heads in the Andes, you can probably find Amanda climbing, knitting scarves, or baking carrot cakes.
- The struggle of a mother who lost her daughter to pollution in London (PO). Briton Rosamund Kissi-Debrah is the mother of the first person to have air pollution cited as the cause of death.
- Women are most affected by climate change. The climate emergency affects everyone, but not equally. In a global context of inequality in which vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by the consequences of human actions on the planet, women are at the forefront of the crisis.
- A luta de mãe que perdeu filha vítima de poluição em Londres.
Based in Mexico City, she covers climate change and other environmental stories for Animal Mx, Animal Político, Este País, Botany One and Letras Libres. She is a member of the Mexican Network of Science Journalists and has experience in cross-border journalism.
- Mexico arrives at COP26 with the same emission reduction goals of 2015. Civil society representatives consider that the energy policies of the Central American country prioritize the exploitation of fossil fuels and are not consistent with the demand for greater climate finance.
- Why was the climate strike on the streets of Glasgow important? A march brought together more than 30,000 young people and protesters, although some estimates counted more than 100,000 people, while the term “climate justice” resonated with force. Why is it relevant that this happened in Scotland?
Doménica is a journalist from Ecuador who loves to write stories about the environment, climate change, indigenous communities, and human rights. Her favorite story is one she wrote over a year ago about nine girls who sued the Ecuadorian state for violating their rights with the gas flaring systems that are still being used by oil companies in the Amazon. She’s very proud to say that that story was awarded an honorable mention in a human rights journalism competition.
- What is COP26 and what is Ecuador’s role? Interesting explainer in which Domenica covers everything from the basics to the main challenges for his country in face of climate change.
- “For Ecuador it’s all about finding a balance”, says Ecuadorian Minister of the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, Gustavo Manrique. This interview is an exclusive from the COP26 headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland.
- New marine reserve in Galapagos announced at COP26 The proposal of the Más Galapagos collective states that the new reserve will have an area of 435 thousand square kilometers. But at Glasgow the president of Ecuador, Lasso, announced that it will have 60 thousand.
- The new marine “mega reserve” in Galápagos Island, explained. The presidents of five Latin American countries signed a declaration to strengthen the protection of the largest marine corridor in the West. What is it and why is it important?
- Declaration on forests and land use signed at COP26, explained.128 countries signed a document urging world leaders to join forces to make better use of the earth and its resources globally. What does this commit Latin America to?
- From the Amazon to COP26: indigenous people fight big oil in Glasgow. “We are not here to talk about conservation like everyone else, we are here talking about our life”, says a youth leader of the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas de la Amazonía Ecuatoriana.
- Ecuador at COP26: from words to actions. Experts fear that without clear plans and financing, the agreements and declarations signed at COP26 will remain only on paper.