Chile's Transition to a Clean Energy Matrix

Link: http://aulablog.net

As Posted on American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies Blog, September 11, 2017

Since Michelle Bachelet’s return to the presidency in March 2014, Chile has aggressively pursued an ambitious program to transition the country’s energy matrix toward non-conventional renewable resources. The emphasis on non-conventional includes mini-hydro facilities with a generating capacity under 20 Megawatts, geothermal, solar, wind, biomass, and potentially ocean currents. Chile aims to generate 60 percent of its electricity from domestic renewable energy resources (including all forms of hydro) by 2035, and 70 percent by 2050. To encourage that transition, Chile is one of only two Latin American countries (the other being Mexico) to establish a carbon tax, under which energy-intensive industries and utilities that exceed mandated emissions levels are charged US$5.00 per ton of CO2 emissions. Chile’s drive to adopt a cleaner energy matrix is motivated as much by a desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it is to enhance energy security.

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09/17/17. 01:26:40 pm. Categories: Articles ,

How are the Americas Faring in an Era of Lower Oil Prices

Link: http://aulablog.net

As Posted on American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies Blog, March 24, 2016

The sharp drop in global oil prices – caused by a combination of a slowing Chinese economy hurting commodities sales and efforts by Saudi Arabia to retain market share – has both downsides and advantages for Latin America and the Caribbean. By keeping production levels steady, despite decreased demand, so that a barrel of crude remains below US$40, the Saudis’ hope is to put U.S. shale oil producers and Canadian tar sands producers out of business. The drop in oil prices has had a varied impact elsewhere in the Americas:

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03/26/16. 05:18:22 pm. Categories: Articles ,

Ignoring MERCOSUR and UNASUR at Your Peril

Link: http://aulablog.net

As posted on American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies Blog, February 11, 2016

Pundits who dismiss MERCOSUR and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as failed attempts at Latin American economic integration should look again. MERCOSUR has presided over an explosion in intra-regional trade among its four original member states (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) from just over US$ 5 billion at its launch in 1991 to US$ 43 billion by 2014. UNASUR, for its part, is credited with thwarting a coup attempt against Evo Morales in 2008 and putting a damper on continental arms races.

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02/12/16. 02:58:37 pm. Categories: Articles ,

The Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) as a Metaphor for the Decline of United States Hegemony in the Western Hemisphere

As Published in Volumes 26 and 27 of Latin American Essays, MACLAS (Mid-Atlantic Council of Latin American Studies), 2014, pp. 19-32

Thomas Andrew O’Keefe
Mercosur Consulting Group, Ltd. & Stanford University

Introduction

The idea for an Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas was first floated by then Senator Barack Hussein Obama in the sole policy address he gave on Latin America and the Caribbean during his initial run for the White House. The primary purpose of that May 2008 speech in Miami was to garner Cuban-American votes for his candidacy as well as that of two Cuban-American Democrats and one Colombian-American challenging incumbent Cuban-American Republican congresspersons from south Florida.[1] Not surprisingly, the speech focused heavily on U.S. relations with Cuba. Obama did, however, mention a proposal to create an Energy Partnership for the Americas. In particular, Obama stated that, if elected, his administration would allow industrial emitters of greenhouse gases in the United States to offset a portion of their emissions by investing in low carbon energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. He also pledged to increase research and development across the Americas in clean coal technology, in the next generation of sustainable biofuels not taken from food crops, and in wind, solar and nuclear energy.

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03/13/14. 01:53:16 pm. Categories: Articles, Latin American Law & Business Report ,

Promoting Energy Security and Tackling Climate Change: Missed Opportunities at the Cartagena Summit

[ excerpt from "The Road to Hemispheric Cooperation: Beyond the Cartagena Summit of the Americas" (Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, July 2012)

By Thomas Andrew O’Keefe

The Context

One of the most pressing issues affecting the future of countries in the Western Hemisphere is securing reliable and affordable energy resources that do not contribute to climate change or further degrade the environment. A report issued by the United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in December 2009 noted that while the greenhouse gas emissions of Latin America and the Caribbean represent a small share of the global level, the region will be severely impacted by climate change.1 Furthermore, some areas of Latin America are expected to experience severe water stress, which will affect the water supply and hydroelectric power generation. This could lead to much greater reliance on fossil fuels than is currently the case. In general, the anticipated rise in sea levels due to melting polar ice will increase the number of people displaced and the land lost due to permanent flooding. Small Caribbean island states will be especially impacted. Climate change will also translate into significant and often irreversible losses in biodiversity, which is particularly serious in a region that encompasses several of the most bio-diverse countries in the world.

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08/11/12. 06:36:41 pm. Categories: Articles ,

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