The construction of sustainable and resilient public housing is a key strategy in addressing the challenges of climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as insufficient housing supplies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Incorporating sustainable building technologies and practices in housing design and construction can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize environmental impact (United Nations Environment Programme).

Land use and land-use change

Land-use change refers to changes in the use or management of land by humans, which can also lead to a change in land cover (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2012). Land-use change and natural resource management are critical elements in climate change adaptation in Latin America and the Caribbean (United Nations Environment Programme). The conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems, such as forests and wetlands, can increase the resilience of communities to extreme climate events and contribute to adaptation (FAO).


Environmentally sustainable transportation helps reduce environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the use of non-renewable natural resources. It also maintains ecosystem integrity and improves the climate resilience of transportation services, modes and infrastructure. Mitigation in this sector involves a shift toward sustainable transportation based on using cleaner technologies and improving energy efficiency in public and private transportation.


Waste is any substance or object that has been discarded, that there is an intention to discard, or that is subject to an obligation of disposal. (Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge of Spain). Waste can be an important contributor to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, in mitigating climate change. The treatment and final disposal of solid waste can result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions.


Shortages, inefficiencies and a lack of sustainability in the provision of infrastructure services is an important cause of structural imbalances in the region. The transformation of these services is a prerequisite for progressive structural change to achieve fair and sustainable development. Infrastructure management must consider the climate risks associated with the impacts of extreme weather events on infrastructure and public safety, in order to reduce the vulnerability of communities and countries to the impacts of climate change (ECLAC).


Climate change presents significant challenges for the energy sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, which will be affected by a series of direct and indirect impacts on its infrastructure, operating system and demand. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), household heating demand will decrease, and household cooling demand will increase. The effect of this shift on energy sources and technologies will differ depending on primary resources, technological processes and locations.


Climate change and forests are closely linked. Changes to the world’s climate are affecting forests, owing to higher-than-average annual temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and the increasingly frequent occurrence of extreme weather events. In terms of climate change adaptation, forest management must consider the climate risks that affect forests, such as droughts, forest fires and storms. The diversification of forest species is therefore encouraged to increase forest resilience, as well as the restoration of degraded forests to provide ecosystem services.


Compared to other regions of the world, Latin America and the Caribbean has a significant provision of water resources. Traditionally, these resources and associated public services like drinking water and sanitation have played a key role in the socioeconomic development of the region. In many of the region’s countries, these sectors are essential drivers of social welfare, economic progress, industrialization and efforts to improve living standards (ECLAC).


Agriculture is a human activity, primarily carried out to produce food and fibres through the use, control and management of animals and plants. Climate change has direct and indirect effects on agricultural output, such as changes in rainfall patterns, droughts, floods and geographical redistribution of pests and diseases (FAO).


Transitioning to a low-carbon economy involves strengthening a country’s industrial base by modifying policy to ensure that it is robust, diversified, resource-efficient and competitive to meet the challenges of the global marketplace. Companies play a key role in employment and growth. Industry is a key sector for climate change adaptation and mitigation in Latin America and the Caribbean.