Climate, Energy and Environment News from Latin America: 12.13 - 12.17.2010


An amendment of the Law 20,257 on the generation of electricity with non-conventional sources of renewable energy will establish a mechanism that differentiates producers of clean energy and allows the granting of green certificates that allows companies to buy and sell electricity.  (Diario Financiero, 12/14/10)

Energy Minister Ricardo Raineri opened 4 small hydroelectric plants in the Cochamó region as part of the Rural Electrification Project.  (Ministerio de Energía, 12/14/10)  He also announced the international tender of 5,600 hectares of public land, in the Sierra Gorda and Taltal regions in the north of Chile, designated for wind energy projects to encourage the development of Non-Conventional Renewable Energy. (Emol, 12/17/10)

The Chilean Agency for Energy Efficiency is developing an energy efficiency labeling system for new vehicles due out in 2011 and will be mandatory starting in September.  (Diario Financiero, 12/16/10)

Chile’s San Ignacio de Huinay Foundation has published a guide on the immense diversity of marine life in Patagonia, with 473 photographs of marine species from 10 years of research on the region. (El Mercurio, 12/15/10)

Costa Rica:

The deaths of 10 Kemp’s Ridley turtles and 12 sick turtles found in the Southern Pacific region are being investigated.  Scientists’ current hypothesis blames the poor health of the turtles on high levels of exposure to agrichemicals or heavy metals dissolved in the sea water. (Latin American Herald Tribune, 12/14/10)

Scientists at the University of Costa Rica are developing solar cells sensitized with dyes from local plants.  Benefits of the cells include its cheaper production price, flexibility and thinness, and ability to produce power with very little light.  However they are not yet as efficient as the present day silicon solar cells. (El Financiero CR, 12/14/10)

Mitsubishi Motors will release the first electric car in Costa Rica, called iMiEV.  The car is 100% electric, automatic, is powered by a lithium-ion battery, has room for five people and will cost $61,500.  According to the company, Costa Rica was chosen for car’s release in the Americas due to its environmental record and goal to become carbon neutral by 2021. (El Financiero CR, 12/14/10)


The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon congratulated President Calderon and Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Patricia Espinosa on a job well done hosting the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun last week. (Notimex, 12/13/10)   Calderon believes the negotiations strengthened confidence in the multilateral system on global challenges with the approval of the Green Climate Fund and the consolidation of the REDD+ mechanism. (La Crónica, 12/15/10)

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.