Climate, Energy and Environment News from Latin America: 12.6-12.10.10


The Inter-American Development Bank announced at the climate negotiations that they will allocate up to 25% of loans to combat climate change.  This could make a significant impact for the high risk regions such as Latin America which the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean reported will face losses of up to 1% of the gross domestic product between 2010 and 2100. (Milenio, 12/9/10)  Mexico designated 3,200,000 pesos through the development banks for the development of renewable energy sources and sewage treatment plants. (Milenio, 12/7/10)

President Calderón urged countries at COP16 this week not to delay the start of a Green Fund and to implement the REDD+ mechanism. (La Crónica de Hoy, 12/9/10)  He stated that the Mexican government is determined to reduce deforestation down to zero hectares and to promote reforestation. (La Crónica de Hoy, 12/6/10)

Mariana Bellot Rojas, director of the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, (CONANP) announced the collaborative pilot program under COP16 studying adaptation to climate change in four protected areas of Mexico. (Planeta Azul, 12/10/10)

During the Forum on Responsible Tourism in the Face of Climate Change, President Felipe Calderón announced a new program to replace all the incandescent light bulbs for energy saving light bulbs in Mexico. (El Universal, 12/6/10)

The 24 biodiesel buses from Chiapas used to transport participants of the climate conference in Cancun were duly noted. (La Crónica de Hoy, 12/7/10)


Chilean Environment Minister, María Ignacia Benitez confirmed the country’s commitment to reduce emissions by 20% at COP16. (Diario Financiero, 12/9/10) One emissions-reducing initiative that started three years ago in Santiago encourages holding “green” meetings, conventions or conferences, and has resulted in a 50% reduction in carbon emissions among these types of events. (La Tercera, 12/6/10)

A report released by United Nations Environment Program at the climate talks in Cancún, Mexico showed that glaciers in Patagonia and Alaska are melting at the fastest rates on the planet. (The Santiago Times, 12/10/10)

Some unexpected voices spoke out against HidroAysén this week.  In an interview with the CEO of Endesa Spain in Latin America, Ignacio Antoñanzas stated that they will only move forward with the hydroelectric plans if all environmental permits are approved and there is a national willingness to consider this a strategic project. (La Tercera, 12/6/10)  Executive Vice President of HidroAysén, Daniel Fernandez made similar comments to the public in a televised debate where he stated that if the electricity transmission lines weren’t approved there would be no project. (El Divisadero, 12/7/10)

The Norwegian owned, SN Power 46MW wind farm in Chile was registered in the Clean Development Mechanism of the UN Convention on Climate Change, allowing it to issue carbon credits. (El Mercurio, 12/8/10)

The Taitao Peninsula near the sea of Aysén where three tectonic plates intersect was found to be of key geological and biological importance.  Dr. Chris Germain of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute who studies the area said that "It’s the only place on earth where all known chemical synthesis ecosystems can coexist.” (El Mercurio, 12/9/10)

Costa Rica:

The Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) reported the persistence of agricultural chemicals in the Cairo and Siquirres Milano water sources.  The first reports of contaminated wells date back from 2007.  In Cairo the last analysis showed that bromacil, one of the substances used in pineapple cultivation, was found at a concentration of 1.73 micrograms per liter, about 2.5 times the legal limit for human consumption. (La Nación, 12/8/10)

El Financiero CR held an exclusive interview with Gilberto Armijo, one of seven constitutional judges who opposed the Cruicitas mining project. (El Financiero CR, 12/9/10)

Johnny Araya Monge, elected mayor of San Jose for the third consecutive time, promises to push for the development of an electric tram in the city.  (La Nación, 12/5/10)

120 businesses, including hotels and tour operators, received a green certification from the Costa Rican Institute of Tourism. (La Nación, 12/10/10)

The Ford Motor awarded $20,000 among 8 different projects geared toward natural resource conservation and the preservation of the cultural heritage of Costa Rica. (La Nación, 12/6/10)

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.