Climate change, desertification, biodiversity, protection of the ozone layer, water use and management, protection of wild flora and fauna, cross-border movement of hazardous waste, deterioration of forests and wetlands, among others, are some of the key challenges faced by societies today. The impact of these phenomena conditions the possibilities of countries for development and affects the quality of life of their citizens. Therefore, environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources are key elements in development plans and public policies in general.
Most of the challenges mentioned are transnational in nature. This means that in the case of almost all of these challenges, a single country's actions are not sufficient to tackle them. This is why foreign policy instruments are required to achieve domestic goals in the environmental field.
To this end, Argentina is actively working at the international level, striving to provide for the needs of future generations and prevent arbitrary restrictions on production and trade. Argentina fosters solutions that contribute to maintaining a balance between the three pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental development, as set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The first level of foreign action is the bilateral and regional level. Many environmental risks are shared by bordering countries, with which coordinated actions should be aimed at mitigating or resolving national issues. Shared waste management, protection of migrating species, and rational use of shared resources are some of the issues that call for coordination with bordering countries. At a regional level, issues that affect Latin America and the Caribbean are addressed, and work is undertaken to prevent environmental damage.
In turn, Argentina has an active role in multilateral environmental forums. Of note is the Paris Agreement, in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, under which most of the world’s countries undertook a commitment to take action to mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change, and to adapt to this phenomenon. Thus, this agreement is a global response in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty. Especially noteworthy is the notion of "common but differentiated responsibilities" between developed and developing countries, recognizing that the former will have to make greater efforts in terms of both their emissions and the contribution of funds required to implement the agreement.