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.
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.
Part two of the series on hydrogen (H2) in Latin America surveys the playing field regarding strategies and regulation. Large investments, mega projects and familiar actors dominate the scene, while there is a lack of proposals for a new governance model towards an inclusive socio-ecological transition.
Latin America’s hydrocarbon producers have long considered hydrogen as a good opportunity to render their extractivist models “greener”. There are a range of concerns about blue and grey hydrogen, but even large-scale green hydrogen may have negative social and environmental impacts. This is part one in a series exploring the background of hydrogen and its risks across the region.
Latin America has made bold pledges to boost renewable energies in the near future, but is failing to incorporate local communities along the way. This oversight will hamper its ability to foster sustainable change, argues Rebecca Bertram.
To face social and environmental problems generated by fossil energies, market-based solutions have emerged to tackle these challenges on a broader scale. These proposals are often also framed as a “green” approach to economic growth. They include e.g. regulatory disincentives for emitting CO2 through a form of carbon pricing or more specifically, emissions trading systems (ETS) and carbon taxes. Although their rationale sounds adequate, their design and implementation are flawed from different points of views and subsequently result in a minimal decrease of CO2 emissions. The following analysis will focus on the main causes of this (political) deficiency with a focus on Latin America. Maximiliano Proaño has the details.
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
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