During the last months, Latin America has become the main COVID-19 focus worldwide. In early September, the region concentrated more than 27% of the COVID-19 cases globally and 31% of its deaths. High rates of inequality and poverty, failures in the health system and political instability are the main reasons for this dramatic situation. And it seems to get worse in the upcoming years: according to the UN COVID-19 will result in the worst recession in the region in a century, causing a 9.1% contraction in regional GDP in 2020. Consequently, the number of poor could increase by 45 million (to 230 million in total) and the number of extremely poor by 28 million (to 96 million in total). As political and social instability has already characterized 2019, the risk of a period of human rights violations and a lack of democracy is real. Maximiliano Proaño reports
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.
Recent reports on the fires in the Amazon have dominated the international news on what’s currently going on in Brazil. The world is witness to the destruction of millions of acres of rainforest – the so-called lungs of the world. Brazil’s new President is widely criticized for rolling back environmental regulations in favor of Brazil’s powerful agricultural lobby. However, little attention has been given to changes in Brazil’s energy policy. So what exactly does Bolsonaro have in store for the country’s energy sector? Rebecca Bertram reports
After twenty years of negotiations, the European Union is in the process of advancing one of the world’s largest free trade agreements with four states of Mercosur. The planned agreement suggests a political path that veers towards a worsening of the international climate crisis. Kathrin Meyer discusses the questionable contents of the political act, which will solidify inequality amongst the trade partners and enable the expansion of environmentally harmful methods.
One-fifth of EU emissions are from road transportation, and they’re rising. The EU is trying to help matters by pushing electric vehicles and batteries – but while this would help with decarbonization, it comes with its own risks, as Radostina Primova explains.
In the past few years, Brazil has experienced its worst economic recession in history, political crises, and corruption in the energy sector (especially the state company Petrobras). Now, the right-wing Jair Bolsonaro has become president of Brazil. What will be the consequences for energy, the environment, and the struggle against climate change? Maximiliano Proaño explains.
While the Trump administration attempts to prop up fossil fuels, China has implemented policies to support renewable energy. The rapid expansion of solar power and investments in electric transport are pushing China’s energy transition forward, explains E.A. Crunden.
Emiliano Bellini of PV Magazine interviewed Luiz Augusto Barroso, the head of the Brazilian government-run energy agency EPE. He explains how the newly-implemented mechanism for power auctions increases competition.
Emerging markets now account for the majority of growth in solar power, according to new data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Led by China and India, these developing economies are behind dramatic recent growth in solar capacity, which expanded by 33% in 2016. Zeke Hausfather of Carbon Brief takes an in-depth look.
Although Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in energy savings and efficiency in the last years, the region can do more to move towards sustainability. A review of the regional measures shows improvements, and reflects the challenges ahead. Emilio Godoy takes a look.