Latin America Climate, Energy and Environment News: 10/2 - 10/7//2011


The Court of Appeals in Puerto Montt lifted the ban against HidroAysén’s mega-dam project, rejecting the injunctions brought against the project’s environmental approval.  While the court considered the appeal, which was filed in June by a group of Parliamentarians, local mayors and NGOs, all construction on the dams was halted. (La Tercera 10/6/2011)   Opponents of HidroAysén vowed to take their case to the Supreme Court.  ( 10/6/2011)

Over 200 rural and indigenous community members from Calama, Alto Loa and San Pedro de Atacama participated in renewably energy workshops hosted by the mining companies Mineras Xstrata and El Abra. The sessions looked at renewable applications for productive, industrial and residential uses. Experts at the workshops noted that there is significant renewable potential in the region but that public policies should create greater incentives for these technologies. (FibroAndes 10/07/2011)  

The Minister of Energy announced that the University of Chile Hospital will install solar water heaters .  The project will cost $354 million, and will produce safe, hot water for more than 43,000 patients per year, and will save $50 million annually.  (Diario Financiero 10/5/2011)

Chile will assess the state conservation of 100 plant and animal species as part of the Ministry of Environment’s Eighth Classification Process.  The results will be used to re-categorize the species as appropriate into different levels, from “low concern” to highly endangered.  Recuperation plans will be developed by those determined to be in danger.  (La Segunda 10/4/2011)


Urban forests can help help improve quality of life and achieve climate change mitigation and energy savings. The Floresta Urbana project in Costa Rica aims to plant hundreds of trees in the city of San Jose in order to improve quality of life. (El Financiero 10/3/2011)

The European Union is promoting environmentally friendly projects in Costa Rica that involve ecological footprints and blue carbon – or carbon sequestered by coastal ecosystems like wetlands and mangroves. The EU will seek communities with successful conservation experiences to help spread lessons learned. (El País 10/05/2011.  


By January 2012, the transportation system in Mexico will start using biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels. This measure aims to reduce climate change gasses and emissions. (El Universal 10/07/2011)

The Semarnat Commission participated this week at the preparatory United Nations Convention (COP17) held in Panama on Climate Change where topics including adaptation, mitigation, finance and technology and the future of the Kyoto protocol were discussed. In bilateral and multilateral meetings, the Semarnat team worked to advance Mexico’s climate positions. (Semarnat news release 10/06/2011)


This Friday, October 7th leaders from 190 countries met in Panama to discuss the upcoming COP17 on climate change. The meeting in preparation for Durban, South Africa later this year of 2011, aims to reach an agreement on the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. (Informador 10/ 07/2011) 

The Central American countries demanded to be recognized as some of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. This distinction is  important when it comes to allocate economic resources and the assistance that will be given to face the effects of the climate change. (El Pais 10/05/2011)

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.