Climate, Energy and Environment News from Latin America: 10.25 - 11.5.2010


While HidroAysén delivered its Environmental Impact Assessment last week (La Tercera, 10/28/10) protests were held in Coyhaique against the dam project. (El Divisadero, 11/2/10) However residents weren’t the only ones opposing the project, an Italian delegation of NGO leaders visited Aysén this week to speak out against the project and the Italian company ENEL which is 30% owned by the government. (The Santiago Times, 11/5/10)

The investment company Empresas Transoceánica debuted a LEED Gold certified office building featuring a geothermal HVAC system and estimated to be 70% more efficient than an equivalent conventional building.  The Chile Green Building Council expects similarly efficient buildings to open in the future. (El Mercurio, 10/26/10)

The Bosques de Chile company was authorized to build a $100 millon wind farm off the coast of Chiloé Island in Southern Chile that will be able to produce 36 megawatts of energy. (The Santiago Times, 11/4/10) "Parque Eólico San Pedro", is scheduled to open in May, 2011. (Diario Llanquihue, 11/2/10) In other renewable energy news, the Chilean companies Calder Solar and THC Chile have put the first Chilean produced solar panel on the market. (Diario Financiero, 11/2/10)

The Association of Small and Medium Hydroelectric Power, APEMEC, formed a committee for Network Transmission Connections to attempt to move power generated by renewable energy projects for each basin through a single transmission line, as a potential solution to the financial hurdles that small RE companies face when connecting to the grid. (El Mercurio, 11/3/10)

The government plans to step up the process to regulate emissions from power plants which has been under discussion since 2008. (El Mercurio, 11/4/10)  Also this week, The National Auto Association of Chile (ANAC), in conjection with the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications and the Ministry of Environment signed a Working Agenda for Cleaner Air.  The signatories have commited to designing incentives for zero emission vehicles. (El Mercurio, 11/5/10)

Costa Rica:

The manual of good agricultural practices (GAP) for pineapple production has been in force since April yet sanctions against those who don’t comply against the regulations have not been applied.  The manual provides management rules for soil and waste, pesticides, and water conservation for the 46,000 hectares of pineapple cultivation in Costa Rica. (El Financiero CR, 11/1/10)

Scientists at Costa Rican universities create a bioplastic from agro-industrial waste, particularly from pineapple and banana cultivation. The bioplastic is still in the research stage but plans are in the works to produce items for commercial use by next year. (El Financiero CR, 11/1/10)

The executive committee for the newly formed National System for Integrated Management of Electronic Waste will chose their members on November 12th and then have four months to prepare technical and environmental guidelines for the organization’s operation. (El Financiero CR, 11/1/10)

Debate over the public road is the newest source of conflict in the Crucitas mine trial. (La Nación, 11/2/10)

The 16th State of the Nation report published this week, stated that transportation is responsible for 84% of the carbon emissions in Costa Rica. (La Nación, 11/4/10)

Last week the US government gave Costa Rica’s National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio) and Earth University $80,000 each to become more energy efficient and reduce consumption.  The money is coming from the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (EPCA), a fund which President Obama announced at the Summit of the Americas in April of 2009. (La Nación, 10/27/10)


As Mexico prepares for the COP16 meetings, criticisms regarding the country’s domestic energy policies arise.  “Even while Mexico outlines ambitious goals for climate change, the government is boosting the struggling economy by expanding the state-run oil industry and promoting car ownership.” (Solve Climate, 11/4/10)

Undersecretary of Environmental Policy, Jose Jaime Garzon, stated that the Ministry of the Environment of Coahuila (SEMAC) will release public policies on climate change starting next month. (Milenio, 11/4/10)

The Mexican Ministry of Environment reported that 20% of the 5000 springs counted in the State of Mexico census are contaminated or have problems of deforestation, putting them at risk of disappearing. (Reforma, 11/2/10)

Researchers at the Universidad Autónoma Chapingo (UACh), members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations, consider it urgent that the authorities of the three levels of government invest in programs to mitigate the effects of climate change. (La Jornada, 10/25/10)

The president of the National Association of Plastics Industries (Anipac), Eduardo Martínez Hernández, announced investments of $800 million for next year. He explained, as the result of the new Federal District Solid Waste law, they expect 3% to be invested in the recycling industry. The executive said six million tones of plastic products are consumed each year in Mexico, the industrial sector has the capacity to recycle 15%. (Notimex, 10/28/10)

Mexico is the representative of the Latin American countries and the Caribbean in the High Level Plenary Meeting for the Convention on Biological Diversity, the head of Semarnat reiterated the position of this bloc to adopt a Strategic Plan with realistic goals for 2011-2020, (Planeta Azul, 10/27/10)


Note: The linked articles and excerpts in this post are provided for informational purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Natural Resources Defense Council.