The southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais owes its name to the main economic activity throughout its history: mining – of gold since the 17th century and later iron ore, which took on an industrial scale with massive exports in the 20th century.
While the attention of mostly Western media and politicians is quasi exclusively hoarded up by the proxy war in Ukraine and its consequences on the energy sector, the world’s big oil business continues to burn Planet Earth with its underreported though highly polluting, wasteful practice of gas flaring.
"We do everything through parties, we don't want power, we don't want to take over the role of the State, but we don't just protest and complain," said Itamar de Paula Santos, a member of the United Community Council for Ribeiro de Abreu
(Comupra), in this southeastern Brazilian city.
In the northern Mexican state of Coahuila the current situation of coal, used mainly to generate electricity, is opaque.
After working on the family farm, Carlos Salama comes home and plugs his cell phone into a socket via a solar-powered electrical system, a rarity in this rural village in southern El Salvador.
"I like lettuce, but not tomatoes and cucumbers," said nine-year-old Paulo Henrique da Silva de Jesus, a third grader at the João Baptista Caffaro Municipal School in the southeastern Brazilian city of Itaboraí.
It will take billions of dollars and many years to fix a growing problem that has placed Jamaica into the unlikely bracket of being among the world's most water-scarce countries due to the unavailability of potable water.
At home, Isabel Bracamontes uses gas only for cooking. "We try to prepare food that doesn't need cooking, like salads," she says in the southeastern Mexican city of Mérida.
The oil and gas supply crisis unleashed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine represents new business opportunities for the oil-producing countries of the developing South, both traditional and emerging, and also for accelerating the global transition to green forms of energy.
Along the wide slash of white earth in southwestern Mexico there are no longer trees or animals. In their place, orange signs with white stripes warn visitors: "Heavy machinery in motion," "No unauthorized personnel allowed".
When driving at night in Zimbabwe, watch out for a pair of eyes on the road and slow down. You may hit a giraffe inside a pothole. So goes an often-told joke.
Three giant concrete cylinders with inflated membrane roofs are a strange sight in the industrial park of Zárate, a world of factories 90 kilometers from Buenos Aires that heavy trucks drive in and out of all day long. They are the heart of a plant that is about to start producing energy from agro-industrial waste, for the first time in Argentina.
The Pacific Ocean could quench the thirst caused by 10 years of drought in Chile, but the operation of desalination plants of various sizes has a long way to go to become sustainable and to serve society as a whole rather than just corporations.
As a visitor drives across the plains of the department of Valle del Cauca in southwestern Colombia, green carpets dominate the view: sugarcane fields that have been here since the area got its name.
Electricity transmission lines run through Chiedza Murindo’s home in Murombedzi, a small town in Zvimba district in Mashonaland West province, but her house has no electricity. That is the harsh reality for much of Zimbabwe’s rural population, where only 13% of households live without power compared to 83% of urban households.
Cuba has readjusted its plans to achieve at least 37 percent of electricity from clean energy by 2030, a promising but risky challenge for a nation that is a heavy consumer of fossil fuels and has persistent financial problems.
The debate in Mexico and at an international level is focused on certain minerals that are fundamental to the energy transition, such as cobalt, lithium and nickel. But there are other indispensable minerals that remain in the background.
The Mexican government is prioritizing the construction and modernization of mega water projects, without considering their impacts and long-term viability, according to a number of experts and activists.
People living in Jardim Pantanal, a low-income neighborhood on the east side of the Brazilian megalopolis of São Paulo, suffer floods every southern hemisphere summer. Many residents remember the three months their streets and homes were under water in late 2009 and early 2010.
Nothing is wasted from sugarcane, one can conclude from the biomethane production process at the Cocal plant, a Brazilian company that produces sugar, ethanol, electricity and other by-products from sugarcane agro-industrial waste.
"When I was a little girl we didn't suffer from water shortages like we do now. Today we are experiencing more droughts, our water sources are drying up and we cannot sit idly by," Kely Quispe, a small farmer from the community of Huasao, located half an hour from Cuzco, the capital of Peru's ancient Inca empire, told IPS.