July 21 (Reuters) - Colombia, South America's third-largest economy, has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by at least 20 percent by 2030 as a contribution to a new agreement aimed at fighting global warming, the government said on Tuesday.
Colombia said it is finishing plans and should present them to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in the following weeks.
"This compromise we are making means transforming our economy towards a more efficient use of resources and energy," said Environment Minister Gabriel Vallejo López in a statement posted to a ministry website.
Although smaller than targets offered by the United States and the European Union, the Colombian one should be challenging since the country has problems controlling deforestation and it is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America.
Vallejo López said Colombia's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), as the UN proposals are known, will focus on fighting deforestation, increasing energy efficiency, creating sources of renewable energy and renovating public transportation with hybrid vehicles.
The minister said the country could raise the target to reduce heat-trapping gases to 25 percent or 30 percent if it receives financial backing from the international community to implement and speed up some of its programs.
The UN expects INDCs covering at least 80 percent of world emissions to be delivered by Oct. 1, allowing a review before the crucial Paris meeting in December, when a new deal could be reached to try to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 F).
(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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