Latin America Green News: Green bills stalled in Mexico, Deforestation up in Peru, Latin America's biodiversity in decline

Latin America Green News is a selection of weekly news highlights about environmental and energy issues in Latin America.

September 27th – October 3rd, 2014

Renewable Energy

A package of seven secondary laws, known as the “green package,” has yet to make its way to the Mexican legislature. The bills were expected to be introduced following the approval of the energy reform’s first set of implementing legislation but their future is unclear. The delay in these bills adds to the uncertainty facing the renewable energy sector with regard to transmission interconnection, green certifications, and more. According to industry representatives projects worth millions of dollars are paralyzed due to the lack of clarity. (El Financiero 10/2/2014)

In Chile,  a subsidiary of Antofagasta Minerals, Minera Los Pelambres, has signed a new electricity supply agreement in which solar will account for 15 percent of consumption. Antofagasta Minerals also has other renewable projects, such as the Minera Centinela solar thermal plant and the recently opened El Arrayán wind farm. The Minera Los Pelambres project is expected to have nearly 50% of its energy generated by renewables by 2016. (Diario Financiero 10/1/2014)

The Latin American Development Bank (CAF) and the German Development Bank (KFW) have signed two agreements to help finance energy efficiency programs in the Latin American region. One agreement extends a $120 million line of credit to promote sustainable electricity transmission. A $3.8 million technical assistance agreement was signed as well, which looks to improve the design, planning, and public investment in Latin American urban transport systems so that these system will use clean technologies. (El Pais 9/27/2014)

Climate Change

The government of Mexico has introduced a conservation project to protect 16 coastal watersheds from the devastating effects of climate change. The project includes the development of analysis of environmental services of each coastal basin and its primary forests to encourage their owners to access payments for ecosystem services in exchange for their conservation. Currently, the Mexican government estimates a 7.5 percent yearly decrease in GDP due to deforestation and predicts that number to rise to 35 percent by 2050 without mediation. (Informador 9/29/2014).

According to projections from the Center for Advanced Studies of Arid Zones, future climate change and higher levels of greenhouse gases could mean a reduction in the presence of Chile’s camanchacas, a low dense fog that collects over the coast of the driest desert on earth. A decline in camanchacas would lead to a decrease in all coastal biodiversity such as cloud forests. (Lignum 9/29/2014).


Peru has reached a record high of 7 to 10 million hectares lost to deforestation driven by logging and illegal mining. Peru is currently losing approximately 110,000 hectares of forest every year. The National Forest & Wildlife Service expects the framework of the Forest and Wildlife Act, set to be approved by the end of next December, to lay the basis for reversing this damage by establishing clear guidelines for sustainable forest management. (Radio Programas del Peru 9/30/2014).


A new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates a 52% decline of global biodiversity during the past forty years. Latin America has suffered the worst decline than any other part of the world, losing 83 percent of its fish, bird, mammal, amphibian, and reptile populations during the same time period. Loss of habit, degradation and exploitation due to hunting and fishing, and climate change are the main causes for decline. (Alto Nivel 09/30/2014).

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