In December 2018, Colombian Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano received —on behalf of his government— the international Carbon Pricing Champion Award for promoting innovative economic solutions to curb the climate crisis.
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That day, words of praise abounded for Colombia in the Polish city of Katowice, where the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference was underway. Dirk Forrister, who was once Bill Clinton's climate advisor and now heads the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) that awarded the prize, celebrated that "yet another country is using market mechanisms to advance the goals of the Paris Agreement," which had been signed three years ago and which at last —after multiple resounding failures— provided a glimpse of a new global consensus on how to resolve the crisis before it becomes irreversible.
His colleague Margaret-Ann Splawn, director of the Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA) and also patron of the award, emphasized that the Colombian case shows how "public policy is helping to drive technological advances by encouraging innovation and investment in [climate change] mitigation projects at low costs."