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.
Despite its historic ties to fossil fuels and copper mining, in recent years Chile has accelerated its energy transition. With a population of just under 20 million, Chile is now targeting 80% renewable electricity by 2030 and a 100% zero emissions power grid by 2050. Last year wind and solar overtook coal as renewables now dominate the local energy sector. Containing massive lithium reserves, a metal critical for renewables, this April Chile’s leadership announced a new national lithium strategy aimed at ensuring that future mining and development proceed equitably as well as environmentally friendly. Already offering global policymakers a playbook for a successful transition towards renewables, Michael Buchsbaum reviews Chile’s emerging plans for its lithium future. Read More
Zimbabwe is reported to have Africa’s largest and the world’s fifth-largest lithium reserves. Lithium, a key component in energy storing batteries, is witnessing soaring demand as electric vehicles gain popularity. However, despite its abundance of the key resource, the country is lagging in terms of technology to process and fully utilise its lithium. In this story, Kennedy Nyavaya takes a closer look into how lithium can facilitate Zimbabwe’s clean mobility transition while also creating green job opportunities.
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.
While the causes of rapid political change in Bolivia are currently being sought within the accusation of the electoral fraud-related presidency of Evo Morales, more and more voices in Latin America denounce to see a connection between the national lithium industry and the changing power structures. Kathrin Meyer evaluates the multiple facets of this conflict.
The energy transition, and especially the increased electrification of transportation sector, moves forward at great speed. Its new center is Latin America’s lithium triangle, where new batteries of electric vehicles will be sourced. But there is an inevitable conflict coming between water availability and mining, says Rebecca Bertram.
Although Bolivia has some of the largest lithium reserves in the world, the country so far has not focused on extraction. Now that lithium is in high demand for electromobility and renewable technologies, Bolivia’s geopolitical role may change. Maximiliano Proaño takes a look.