Erika Mouynes at the NYT Climate Hub at COP26

Panama stresses commitment to climate action at The New York times Climate Hub

Panama participated at The New York Times Climate Hub, held on November 2 during COP26. Entitled “Shaping the World Map: The New Geopolitics of Climate Change,” the panel dived into how the concept of diplomatic, economic, cultural, and other forms of soft power has changed fundamentally with the advent of international climate action.

During the panel, Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erika Mouynes, pointed to the country’s fierce commitment to climate action and how it has consolidated as a sustainable leader in the region and at the international level.

The discussion also included a bold statement from former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, who urged action from all countries on a range of issues “what is absolutely necessary at this time — it is critical now — is for governments to increase their ambition level, not only in clean energy but creating millions of new green jobs for the people.”

Hafsat Abiola, the co-founder of Connected Women Leaders and president of Women in Africa Initiative, a platform organizing the continent’s leading women into a force for sustainable development, regretted the slow pace of the action “the world urgently needs action but is swamped in bureaucracy. Who is holding policymakers accountable to ensure we can see action and that the money is released?”.

Li Shuo, Greenpeace China’s Senior Global Policy Adviser, commented on the role of China, its relatively limited contribution to Glasgow but indicated that “China is getting ready to take more responsibility. There is a clear growing momentum and political will to do more, and this is for three clear reasons: climate action is seen as a good economic policy; China’s air pollution challenges are becoming very serious; and, finally, China sees the climate agenda as a tool to project a more positive image of the country on the global stage”.

As policymakers continue to discuss at COP26 the actions to take, Minister Mouynes emphasized that Panama “single-handedly delivered one of the biggest COP breakthroughs: we signed an alliance with Bhutan and Suriname, the three only carbon negative countries in the world.” 

Click here to watch the full panel.