Author: Rebecca Bertram


Rebecca Bertram works as a freelancer and consultant on energy and climate issues in Guatemala. She used to work for the Heinrich Böll Foundation both as the Director for the Energy and Environment program in the Washington D.C. office and as the Senior Policy Advisor for European Energy Policy at the Foundation's Headquarters in Berlin. Before that, she worked on international energy issues both for the German Ministry of Environment and the German Foreign Ministry. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs and Economics from the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

What the Colombian elections mean for the country’s energy policy

On May 29, Colombians will vote for their next President in a first round. These elections come at a crucial time for the South American country: For more than a year, Colombia has been paralyzed by political turmoil and protests against the current administration. Colombians are ready for a real change, and leading the polls is former guerilla and mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro, who is in this race for the third time. His win would mark a true turning point in Colombian politics, as he would be the country’s first-ever leftist president. Rebecca Bertram has the details.

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Used vehicle imports to Latin America undercut greening the transport sector

A green transition in the transport sector is a challenge wherever you look. Yet in Latin America, where regulation is usually weaker than in industrial countries, this is even harder. European and American policy makers therefore have the duty to regulate their used light duty vehicles going towards Latino markets. Without such a change, Latin America will likely miss its climate targets. Rebecca Bertram reports.

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The energy transition and its copper problem

Proponents of a global energy transition often claim that it is a completely renewable and clean project. True, renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind and geothermal are abundant, but the metals used for the production of the technologies are not. Take copper for example: it is a vital – yet limited – resource that has been largely absent from energy transition debates. Rebecca Bertram has a closer look.

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Good news from Chile

Chile is the new renewable energy champion of Latin America. It has overtaken Brazil and Mexico in attracting more foreign direct investment in the sector. Smart and stable energy policy lies behind this success as Rebecca Bertram reports.

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How the EU assists deforestation in Brazil

Last year, Brazil made international headlines for the devastating forest fires in the Amazon and their impact on the world’s vital oxygen lungs. Many governments – especially from Europe – were quick to condemn the deforestation of the Amazon that had been increasing rapidly since far-right President Bolsonaro took office in January 2019. Rebecca Bertram takes a closer look.

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Clean mobility lags behind in Latin America

The transportation sector in Latin America is still largely based on fossil fuels and responsible for 35 percent of the continent’s carbon emissions. Greening public transportation systems is an issue predominantly for a few wealthier cities. But many remain highly inefficient, insecure and in the hands of powerful transportation mafia-like groups, which make them a difficult subject for reform. Yet the main hurdle for developing a sustainable transportation concept in many Latin American countries is the disconnect between national and municipal policies on transportation and energy policy. Rebecca Bertram reports

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Mexico’s strange corona response: putting a brake on energy transition

Mexico’s government has had a bad corona run. The pandemic hit the country when the economy was already shrinking. But instead of profiting from the resulting drop in electricity demand of 9 percent in order to speed up the expansion of renewables and the much needed modernization of his country’s energy sector, President Lopez Obrador – widely referred to as AMLO – is instead sticking to the country’s outdated and failing CO2-heavy energy system. Rebecca Bertram takes a look.

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