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The Biden administration should support clean energy investments and environmental protections in the region.
Joe Biden has made clear that he will put climate change at the center of his domestic and foreign policy in a way that no previous president has. As a candidate, he proposed the most ambitious climate plan for any government in history, promising net zero emissions by 2050. As president-elect, he named former Secretary of State John Kerry as a cabinet-level official to manage climate change.
It will be important for the United States to coordinate on climate change globally, from fast-growing emitters in Asia to resolute partners in Europe. But Latin America is perhaps the best region for the incoming administration to start building alliances. Mr. Biden already knows the region well and understands how to work with countries there to address hurdles, particularly in energy production, to reducing emissions.
In 2014, when he was vice president, Mr. Biden introduced the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, a program that sought to bolster energy security and sustainable economic growth by improving governance, increasing access to finance and strengthening donor coordination, as well as an ambitious program for energy-related assistance for Central America, to help those countries provide clean and affordable energy. At a conference in 2016, he highlighted United States support for geothermal plants in Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines and for regional electricity interconnection in Central America.