Latin America & the Caribbean

Renewed, More Ambitious Targets of Paris Agreement Needed

Projected reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are falling "far short" of what is required to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.

That is according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which released its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) Scorecard today, Feb 26.


Mexico to Ban Glyphosate, GM Corn
Presidential Decree Comes Despite Intense Pressure from Industry, U.S. Authorities

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador quietly rocked the agribusiness world with his New Year’s Eve decree to phase out use of the herbicide glyphosate and the cultivation of genetically modified corn. His administration sent an even stronger aftershock two weeks later, clarifying that the government would also phase out GM corn imports in three years and the ban would include not just corn for human consumption but yellow corn destined primarily for livestock. Under NAFTA, the United States has seen a 400% increase in corn exports to Mexico, the vast majority genetically modified yellow dent corn.

Cuba Prioritises Sustainable Water Management in the Face of Climate Challenges

With the construction of aqueducts, water purification and desalination plants, and investments to upgrade hydraulic infrastructure, Cuba is seeking to manage the impacts of droughts and floods that are intensifying with climate change.

In Argentina’s Chaco Region, the Forest Is Also a Source of Electricity

The forest is the main resource in the Chaco, a vast plain shared by Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. And how to use it sustainably is the most difficult question. Two recently inaugurated power plants fired by forest biomass provide a possible answer, although they are not free of controversy.

Argentina’s Abortion Legislation Sparks Hope in Caribbean Region

It was a joyful, tearful celebration in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, 2020 for countless Argentinians when they heard the news: the senate had legalized terminations up to 14 weeks of pregnancy. Prior to this, activists have said that more than 3,000 women died of botched, illegal abortions since 1983. And across the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, this renewed sense of optimism was compounded after President Joe Biden rescinded what is known as the “global gag rule,” which essentially denied funding to international non-profit organizations that provided abortion counseling or referrals.

El Aromo Solar Project Sets Precedent for Renewable Energy in Ecuador

In December 2020, the “El Aromo” solar energy project was approved in coastal Manabí province, Ecuador. Operated by the Spanish company Solarpack, the project is expected to transform national solar output. El Aromo will occupy 2.9km2 of land that was previously cleared to build a multi-billion dollar oil refinery, plans that have since been abandoned.  While El Aromo holds symbolic significance, it remains uncertain whether the project will mark a significant step toward more environmentally sustainable energy development in Ecuador.

Water Graves: Nightmare for Mexican Fishermen

All of Erizo's nightmares are the same. Since his return from the ocean - almost unrecognizable - every bad dream is identical. A wave punches his little boat and throws him into the deep sea where everything is so dark that he can't even see his own hands.

Making Seawater Potable in Mexico Has High Costs and Environmental Impacts

Mexico is seeking to mitigate water shortages in part of its extensive territory by resorting to seawater, through the expansion of desalination plants. But this solution has exorbitant costs and significant environmental impacts.

Cuban Farm Explores Sustainability by Hand

Most beginnings are rocky and sometimes the obstacles seem insurmountable, before they are finally overcome. This was certainly the case for the Finca Marta, a farm in Cuba that had to begin by digging a well in search of water and with the hard-scrabble work of clearing an arid, stony and overgrown plot of land.

Jamaica Failing to Cope with Plastic Waste

For decades, every time it rains heavily in Jamaica, a daunting deluge of plastic bottles and bags, styrofoam and other garbage trundles its way down a network of countless gullies and streams. If they don’t get snagged somewhere, they end up in the Kingston Harbour or close to the beaches ringing the tourist-heavy North coast.

Advisors Propose New System To Regulate China’s Overseas Investments

A government-backed coalition of international advisors to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has recommended that China apply more stringent environmental controls over its overseas investments. If adopted, this would be a major departure from China’s usual approach of deferring to host country rules, many of them inadequate, for regulating its overseas investments.

Dengue—an Epidemic Within a Pandemic in Peru

While the world is grappling with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru is still dealing with an epidemic that it has not been able to control—the mosquito-borne viral disease known as dengue.

San Salvador Becomes a Sponge to Reduce Damage from Landslides

Throughout its history, San Salvador has faced the danger of landslides - mud and rocks that slide down the slopes of the volcano at whose feet the city was founded in 1525.

Recovery: What Are We Talking About?

The new year has arrived, but the situation is worse than in the last months of 2020. The pandemic is still unleashed: the end of the year holidays, the official permissiveness, and the slowness of the distribution of vaccines seem to announce that the disease will continue to wreak havoc for several months in most of the world, particularly in America, Europe, and parts of Asia like India. It has therefore been required to redouble preventive measures: a new lockdown and the disruption of almost all economic and school activities. Therefore, the recovery looks still uncertain and distant.

Belo Monte Dam: Electricity or Life in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest

"We are no longer familiar with the Xingú River," whose waters govern "our way of life, our income, our food and our navigation," lamented Bel Juruna, a young indigenous leader from Brazil´s Amazon rainforest.

Indigenous Leaders want Traditional Knowledge to be Centrepiece of New Global Biodiversity Framework

The picturesque Mahuat River in Dominica is one of 8 communities that make up the Kalinago Territory – a 3,700-acre area on the Caribbean island’s east coast that is home to the Kalinago people, the largest indigenous group in the Eastern Caribbean. It is where 19-year-old Whitney Melinard calls home. Melinard is among a rising group of Dominica’s Kalinago youth, using their voices and platforms to speak out on issues affecting their people.

San Salvador Steps Up Battle against Landslides and Floods

The San Salvador volcano is a gift of nature for the inhabitants of the capital who live at its foot, a gigantic green lung that gives them oxygen and fresh air. But it is also a curse.

Latin American Electric Utilities COVID-accelerated Evolution

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated an evolution across Latin American electric utilities. The need for utilities to manage structural issues derived from increased deployment of Renewable Sources of Energy (RSE) such as wind and solar and Distributed Energy Resources (DER) has rapidly increased. Technology is unleashing major disruptions and challenges. In many ways, Latin America’s traditional electric utilities are in crisis. 

Pandemic Puts Jamaican Children at Heightened Risk of Abuse

In Jamaica, school playgrounds are deserted, filled only with phantom shrieks of delight. Blackboards remain devoid of arithmetic and uniforms hang wrinkle-free in closets. When the first case of Covid hit Jamaican shores in early March, the government closed primary and secondary schools and over 500,000 children transitioned to remote learning. The majority of schools have yet to resume face-to-face classes since the March 13 closure.

Solar Power from Argentina’s Puna Highlands Reaches Entire Country

The unprecedented growth of renewable energies in Argentina over the last three years has borne its greatest fruit: the Cauchari solar park, with nearly one million photovoltaic panels and 300 MW of installed power, which was connected to the national power grid on Sept. 26.

Escazú: Historic Step Towards Protecting Human Rights Defenders in Latin America and the Caribbean

The global health crisis that has marked 2020 did not put an end to another pandemic that has been plaguing Latin America and the Caribbean: murders and attacks against environmental defenders.

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