Latin America Climate, Energy and Environment News: Week of 5.16-5.20.2011


HidroAysén’s executive vice president, Daniel Fernandez, ratified a public consultation on the transmission line Cochrane-Santiago by mid-July, to present in December, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).


But his announcement was greeted with skepticism by the leaders of the Defense Council of Patagonia, the coalition that developed the campaign "Patagonia without dams." For the president of Ecosystems and international coordinator of the Defense Council of Patagonia, Juan Pablo Orrego, the announcement of Fernández "we see it as a smokescreen and it shows a lack of respect for citizen participation in the case (dams) HidroAysén. ""The problem is structural, of the legislation because public participation is not binding, (only) is testimonial. In general, Endesa (developing HidroAysén and  Colbún) has shown no interest of citizen opinion. (Electricidad May 19, 2011)


With 48 votes in favor and two against, the Board of the Chamber of Deputies approved a request by congressmen from the opposition who proposed that the Human Rights Commission to investigate the project approval process HidroAysén. They are requesting a proper investigation for possible irregularities in the approval process of the hydroelectric project, as well as collecting background information on the activities of the Regional Bureau for Environmental Assessment of Aysen.

(Electricidad May 19, 2011)


Due to the debate and condemnation from citizens to the HidroAysén project’s approval; this issues has been installed as a central theme on May 21. Therefore explain the Palace; the President will deliver "good reasons" to explain his administration's energy policy. And in that context, will advocate the need to strengthen the development of clean energy, including hydropower. (La Tercera, Mayo 21, 2011)



Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s 2010 law on electronic waste recycling is still only partially implemented.  E-waste recycling quotas for companies have not been defined yet, making it impossible to apply sanctions. In addition, under the law, companies must belong to compliance units but there is still no system in place to register compliance units with the ministry in charge of overseeing application of the law. (La Nación 5/19/2011)


A recent study released by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) about the economics  of biofuels indicates that bioethanol production could create 12,499 agricultural and 813 industrial jobs in Costa Rica. Recently the production of biofuels in Costa Rica was once more identified as potential measure to reduce the nation’s dependence on oil. (El Financiero 5/16/2011)


Despite eight months of discussions the proposed General Electricity Law that would restructure Costa Rica’s electric sector is not moving forward due to a lack of consensus.  Consideration of the actual bill’s text has been limited since thus far much of the of the discussion has focused on whether restructuring the current electricity sector model to allow more private generation is necessary.  Given the slow movement on the bill the government has proposed a separate, more limited bill to address immediate energy needs. (El FInanciero 5/19/2011)



Given the allegations made ​​by several environmental organizations in Spain against the tourism project of Cabo de Cortés, Baja California Sur, Semarnat reiterated that the partial and conditional permit that granted protects the Natural Protected Area of Cabo Pulmo. They also pointed out that the project company will not begin construction until it has fully complied with environmental conditions set by the federal agency. In a statement, Semarnat said that tourism projects that do not comply with environmental, social and labor conditions have no place in Mexico. (May 16, 2011)


Maria de Carmen Torres Esceberre, SEMARNAT Delegate in Sinaloa, called on municipal and state governments to set an example and initiate the development of sustainable cities to improve the environment and eliminate pollution. "We need sustainable cities and municipalities, we need to modernize and make more efficient equipment to save more energy, we the Government should set an example" she said. (Noroeste. May 17, 2011)


President Felipe Calderon launched the first electric cogeneration plant, based on sugarcane waste. The goal is to decrease more than 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide annually emitted into the atmosphere. The sugarcane industry is a major area of ​​opportunity for the generation and use of renewable resources. With the application of this technology can be reduced between 12 and 35 percent the cost of electric energy billing used by the mills. The goal, he said, the CHP is to achieve more efficient use of resources, maximizing the use of waste to reduce operating costs and help promote clean energy generation, by replacing conventional fuels based on hydrocarbons (fuel) and thus, a reduction of global pollution. With this type of project, an annual reduction of 3.6 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) could be achieved. (HOYTamaulipas. May 17, 2011)