A recent visit to Costa Rica by Chinese President Xi Jinping has led to a mounting backlash against a proposed oil refinery, which undermines Costa Rica’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2021.
Published in Energy
Mr. René Castro Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (MINAE) 18 June 2013[i] Minister: It is with deep regret that I must write and inform you of my decision to resign from the Costa Rican delegation of climate negotiators.
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 07:58

A New “Why” for Climate Action

The world needs a new “why” for climate action.  Unless the public embraces a vision for climate action that is consistent with their notions of prosperity, politicians will not challenge the status quo inside their governments and political parties.  Latin American countries need a new “why” for climate action; and nowhere is this potential for reframing political storytelling on climate action greater than in middle-income developing countries.  The public is worried about climate change. But is it asking politicians to commit to bold climate action at home? Not yet.
During George W. Bush’s administration, the government was under pressure to act on climate change, but saw the U.N. as a dead end for negotiations.  Instead of the cumbersome talks with almost 200 countries at the table, the Bush administration favored “minilateral” or “plurilateral” solutions with small groups of countries.
By Guy Edwards and Susanna Mage Regardless of one's position on el Comandante Hugo Chávez, the death of the Venezuelan president opens the door for a policy debate on a critical issue for Venezuela and the world's security: climate change. As the 2015 deadline to create a new global treaty on climate change approaches, the question for the oil-rich country looms: will Venezuela be a key architect of an ambitious and equitable deal, or will it sabotage progress?
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has launched a significant challenge and provided two somewhat distressing warnings: two thirds of the world’s fossil fuel reserves need to be kept underground if we are to avoid climate change, even while it is projected that the energy sector will double its consumption of freshwater over the next 20 years and the world’s poor will continue to lack access to energy.
Published in Energy
Yesterday, I spoke at an Anglo-Ecuadorian Society event at the Casa Ecuatoriana in London on Latin America and climate change. Latin America is a key battleground and laboratory for confronting climate change and decisions taken in Latin American capitals and by their negotiators at the UN climate change talks could have major implications for the UN climate regime and the region’s development options this century. Here are a few extracts from the talk.

By Guy Edwards and Kelly Rogers*

  Since the US Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Arturo Valenzuela, announced his plans to retire this summer via Twitter, commentators debate who should replace him and whether this change presents an opportunity to alter the Obama Administration’s policies in the region. The Inter-American Dialogue invited four of Dr. Valenzuelas predecessors to share what qualities his successor will need. However, all but one failed entirely to mention the issues of climate change, clean energy, resource scarcity and green growth.
Published in Renewable Energy
Latin America matters in international climate politics. Its emerging leadership role at the international climate change talks, on low-carbon pathways and climate finance illustrate how some Latin American countries may shape the negotiations and the region this decade.
Published in Adaptation
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 00:04

Brazil spices things up in New Delhi

On the 24th January the second meeting of Ministers of the BASIC Group – Brazil, South Africa, India and China - took place in New Delhi, India. The four countries, joined at the last hour by the US, were instrumental in hammering out the controversial Copenhagen Accord at the December climate change conference last year. The recent meeting reconfirmed the four countries´ commitment to working together with all other countries to establish an agreement at the COP-16 in Mexico. The BASIC coalition may be pulling Brazil further away from the rest of Latin America at a time when many are hoping for greater consensus on climate change in the region. However, this may not be a bad thing for the international climate change talks as Brazil´s progressive stance can hopefully rub off positively on both its BASIC partners and other countries. It might also suit Latin American countries but for two very different reasons. For those looking to Brazil for regional leadership on climate change, the BASIC coalition may add prestige and weight to some of Brazil´s demands which are of a similar overture to some of its Amazonian neighbours for example. On the flip side, those Latin American countries happy to resist internalizing climate change as a domestic priority will be content to see Brazil flying the flag far from their own shores. As a result, we may be witnessing the internationalization of the climate change debate in Latin America. Whether Brazil´s role in this new climate change collective works out positively or negatively for itself and other Latin American countries remains to be seen.