While it attempts to cushion the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Latin American and Caribbean region also faces concerns about the future of the energy transition and state-owned oil companies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the spectre of food insecurity as countries and citizens fear a return to the conditions that roiled the international food markets during the 2008 economic crisis.
Since 2012, Teresa Castellanos has fought the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Huexca, in the central Mexican state of Morelos, adjacent to the country's capital.
Remittances that support millions of households in Latin America and the Caribbean have plunged as family members lose jobs and income in their host countries, with entire families sliding back into poverty, as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis and global economic recession.
It's eight o'clock in the morning and Pascuala Ninantay is carrying two large containers of water in her wheelbarrow to prepare with neighbouring women farmers 200 litres of organic fertiliser, which will then be distributed to fertilise their crops, in this town in the Andes highlands of Peru.
Like much of the West, Argentina did not take many early precautionary actions after the Covid-19 epidemic was confirmed in January, but became the first Latin American country to act decisively with a 12 March public health emergency declaration.
The presidential decree came a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic, just over a week after the first case was detected in the republic on 3 March.
On April 17, the Alberto Ángel Fernández administration in Argentina officially unveiled its offer for debt restructuring on USD 66 billion foreign currency-denominated bonds. Starting on that date, the offer is valid for 20 days, a period during which difficult negotiations with bondholders are expected to take place. Based on the first reactions from some of creditor groups, one could well get the sense that the offer is “dead on arrival.”
Electricity demand normally depends on such variables as retail electricity rates, daytime temperature, time and day of the week, economic activity and consumer type (i.e.
residential, commercial, industrial, etc.).
As the high season for agricultural labour in the United States approaches, tens of thousands of migrant workers from Mexico are getting ready to head to the fields in their northern neighbour to carry out the work that ensures that food makes it to people's tables.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro appointed medical entrepreneur Nelson Teich his new health minister on 17 April. The businessman quickly echoed
his boss’ desire to resume business as usual regardless of its potentially lethal consequences.
Rosa Manzano carefully arranges pieces of wood in a big mud igloo that, seven days after it is full, will produce charcoal of high caloric content.
Health systems in Latin America, already falling short in their capacity to serve the population, especially the poor, are in a weak position and face serious risks when it comes to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Trinidad and Tobago parliamentary report in 2018 made two disturbing observations about that country’s quarry sector:
- Of the 67 mining operators on record, only 6 were operating with current licenses;
- The State loses large sums in the form of unpaid/uncollected royalties from quarry companies.
Water security and profitability are the Achilles heels of the plan to modernise 60 hydroelectric plants in Mexico, drawn up by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
"The idea came to a group of schoolmates and me in 2014, but we never thought it could become a reality," says Sebastián Ieraci, 23, as he points to a multitude of photovoltaic solar panels shining on the roof of the Antonio Devoto High School in the Argentine capital.
"It used to be complicated, I would have lunch with the flies," recalls Pedro Colombari, laughing, on his 400-hectare farm where he fattens 5,000 pigs and raises 400 cattle outside of a small town in southern Brazil.
Trinidad and Tobago, like many other signatories to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, had made commitments in 2010, to achieve several biological diversity targets during the decade 2011 to 2020, commonly referred to as the Aichi targets. However, achieving most of those targets continues to be a work in progress.
History shows that in Latin America and the Caribbean, volatility is the norm and not the exception and that the development trajectories of their countries are not linear.
Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee, sugar, beef, soya, cotton, and ethanol but due to its environmental and water footprint it ranks low on sustainability. Brazilian agriculture’s contribution to the loss of rainforest is a case in point – the Amazon lost as much as 3,465 square miles of forest due to fires last year – triggering widespread international outrage over the lax environment policies that allowed all of this to happen. Its large commercial cattle herd is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil’s challenge is to make its model of agricultural development more environment-friendly.
"Slave labour is not declining; it has taken on new forms and is growing; it expanded to new sectors where it did not previously exist," said Ivanete da Silva Sousa, an activist in the fight against modern-day slavery in northern Brazil.