Latin America Climate, Energy and Environment News: Week of 6/19 - 6/26/2011

Latin America Climate, Energy and Environment News:  Week of 6/19 – 6/26/2011


The Appellate Court in the city of Puerto Montt announced last Monday that it is halting all construction and permitting of HidroAysén's dams while it considers the appeal filed by citizens and Members of ParliamentThe Appellate Court in the Region of Aysén, where HidroAysén's dams would be located, normally would hear the appeal.  However, three of the ministers in the tribunal were found to have conflicts of interest in the case, forcing the Aysén Tribunal to recuse itself and moving the jurisdiction of the appeal to Puerto Montt.  (The New York Times 6/20/2011; Science Magazine 6/21/2011; El Mercurio 6/20/2011)

HidroAysén announced that it will delay presenting the route of its planned transmission line to the communities that would be affected by it.  The company’s CEO, Daniel Fernandez, had originally indicated that they would present the 2000 km line’s route to communities in June or July of this year.  Due to the government’s new “public electricity highway” project, which President Piñera’s announced in late May, HidroAysén will now wait for more specific details on that project, to see how it could affect their line.  (La Tercera 6/25/2011)

Experts from around the world met in the city of Arica, in Chile's arid north, last week for the first international workshop on solar energy in Latin America.  During the four day event, experts, academics, scientists and investors discussed the future of solar energy technologies and development in the region.  (Santiago Times 6/21/2011)

Chilean company Bosquemar Investments announced that its eight wind energy projects, all in various permitting phases, will have a combined installed capacity of 1,000 MW to contribute to the main electric grid, the SIC, by 2015.  Bosquemar’s projects, estimated to cost $2.2 billion, will take advantage of the strong wind in Chile’s VII and X Regions.  (Estrategia 6/22/2011)

Of the 3.5 million cubic meters of wood that is consumed annually in central and southern Chile's larger towns and cities, only about 5 percent is certified.  Approximately 90 percent of the wood sold in Chile fails to meet government standards and significantly contributes to air pollution.  (La Tercera 6/19/2011)

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Minister of Public Works and Transport announced that the “interlinea” bus line project that would circle the capital and cut congestion in downtown San Jose “might” move forward next year.  Problems with the concession process have repeatedly delayed the launch of the project, originally scheduled to begin operation in 2008. (Inside Costa Rica 6/27/2011)

A $19 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank to develop tourism in Costa Rica’s protected areas hangs in the balance because consideration of the loan by the Legislative Assembly is stalled just weeks before the deadline for approval. Critics of the plan have pointed to $1.3 million slated for consulting services and voiced concern about the contracting process. The consulting services in question include environmental impact evaluations, development of electronic media, field guides and management plans. (La Nación 6/26/2011)

Black Hills Corporation, the parent company of Mallon Oil Company which holds a concession for oil and gas exploration in northern Costa Rica, expects to be able to sign a contract for exploration sometime this year.  Black Hill’s president, David Emery, has stated that once the contract is executed the company would proceed with plans related the concession plots and reveal additional project information. (La Nación 6/26/2011)


Mexico joined, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), the Global Alliance for Research on Greenhouse Gases Associated with Agriculture, signed by 35 countries and aimed at developing new technologies to increase food production without damaging the environment. (Ciudadanía Express 06/26/11)

A turtle sanctuary in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas announced the successful breeding of 145,000 lora turtles, a species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s endangered list. This weekend, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) said the turtles were born and released into the sea off the coast of Tamaulipas. ( 06/27/11)

The Undersecretary of Environmental Management and Development, Ramon Alberto Reyes Viveros, said the Ministry of Environment (SEDEM) promotes the use of renewable energy in all sectors to achieve sustainable development of the entity. He explained that it is promoting the use of clean energy, which is critical for the state government within its strategy to counter climate change. He said that this year the municipality of Perote started biogas production, where electricity based on biomass is generated. (Diario El Observador 06/25/11)


The Inter-American Development Bank is lending $50 million for Portugal’s Banco Espirto de Investimento SA, to lend funds to infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.  The goal is to mobilize long-term financing and advance financial market know-how in the region. (Inter-American Development Bank 6/23/2011)

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.