China’s interest in Latin America has grown significantly in recent years. The country is now the continent´s second largest trading partner after the United States. Rebecca Bertram examines the reasons for this rapprochement and what it means for Latin America’s energy sector.
Renewable energy, electric vehicles and green hydrogen all offer ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Recent years have seen rising interest in how these technologies impact the demand and mining of critical materials. Lithium mining for electric batteries, in particular, has been scrutinised by environmental groups. Yet less discussed is green hydrogen which requires scarce materials, writes Rebecca Bertram.
When writing about the energy transition, one generally forgets that it’s not always about hard facts and debating the best policy solution that reaches a desired outcome, but that it’s the people who make the transition – the people who make the story. Rececca Bertram tells such a story of three indigenous women from remote areas in Costa Rica who push for an energy transition thereby increasing the quality of life in their entire respective communities.
Small island states tend to face a double challenge when it comes to energy: Securing sufficient energy supplies and dealing with the immediate impacts of climate change. The Caribbean – comprised of 31 individual island states – is facing the brunt of energy and climate insecurity. As the region suffers a Covid-induced economic slump in its all-important tourism industry, it is also witnessing increasing extreme weather events, rising sea levels and extremely high electricity and energy prices. The latter three phenomena have been around for years, so why has the Caribbean not adapted a more sustainable energy policy? Rebecca Bertram has the Details.
Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine means Europe has to look elsewhere to secure its energy supplies. Green hydrogen could be an important new fuel, and here Latin America has the potential to become the next energy partner to Europe. The ongoing trade talks for a EU-Mercosur free trade agreement can provide a space for such negotiations. Rebecca Bertram has the details.
In Honduras, with the election of the new president, hope for a transition towards a renewable-based and non-corrupt energy sector arises. The whole sector requires rebuilding and infrastructural expansion is urgently needed. Though the odds seem positive, open questions remain. Rebecca Bertram discusses perspectives and obstacles.
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.
For the past years, Latin America has topped the list of the most dangerous region for environmental activists in the world. According to Global Witness, more than two-thirds of all respective assassinations recorded globally take place here with Colombia being the most dangerous country for environmental activists in the world.
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.
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.