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.
The recent publication “Gender-Responsive Climate Policy – a Case Study of the Colombian Coal Sector” showed that climate policies must take gender into account not only to limit the destructiveness of the current climate crisis but also to achieve a just transformation of the Colombian coal sector. Kathrin Meyer explains the advantages of this approach and its international relevance.
For climate activists, the coronavirus pandemic has held some positive news with regards to its short term effects. As a result of the economic standstill in large parts of the world, global carbon emissions decreased by 20 percent by the end of March compared to the previous year. But as pressure is building up to get the economies going again, they must also fear that once this global health crisis has waned political and economic activity will return to business as usual, with the global climate agenda losing out against the urgency of rebuilding growth with the help of old industries. Rebecca Bertram takes a look at the possible sustainable future.
In the run up to the Madrid-based COP25 international climate talks set to begin in early December, former Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Energy and Environment program, Rebecca Bertram, conducted a series of interviews with Latin American officials and activists. In Part 4 of the series, Rebecca has a conversation with Angelica Beltran, researcher on climate policy at the Association for Environment and Society (Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad).
While in North America and Europe more hydropower plants are being dismantled than built, many countries in Latin America continue to invest in the controversial renewable energy source. In Colombia, two hydropower plants are to be installed in the Amazon region. Social-ecological and cultural costs of the project are not taken into account. Kathrin Meyer reports about the serious impacts that hydropower could have on the zone.
Faced with dwindling oil reserves, Columbian politicians are worried about energy security and state funds. The country is looking into whether it will allow fracking if it’s ‘sustainable’ – ignoring the possibility of expanding renewables instead, says Rebecca Bertram.
On February 13th, the Colombian Constitutional Court decided to abolish local referendums on land use in Colombia. Kathrin Meyer elaborates on the consequences of this development and whether the international community should act.