Countries in the Amazon Basin are falling behind on their targets to cut deforestation. Environmental enforcement combined with economic incentives could provide a way forward, write Lisa Viscidi and Enrique Ortiz in this op-ed.
Revitalizing Brazil’s energy sector will be key to Jair Bolsonaro’s success as president – but so far, he’s had mixed results when it comes to getting reforms through Congress. Unless Bolsonaro learns to work with legislators and ease turbulence within his government, Brazil’s missing energy reforms will continue to threaten its economy, and its politics.
Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program, appeared on CGTN to discuss the reasons for the unprecedented blackout that affected all of Argentina and Uruguay and parts of Paraguay on June 16, how it affects Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s re-election campaign, and whether it could happen again.
Just as Pemex bonds suffered a downgrading to junk status by Fitch, Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy Program, sat down with Nathaniel Parish Flannery of Forbes to discuss the state of Mexico’s energy sector, including oil and gas, regulators, and renewables, seven months into the AMLO administration.
Deforestation rates in the Amazon River Basin have risen to near-record levels in recent years, threatening biodiversity and indigenous lands as well as global climate change efforts and weather patterns in the Amazon region and beyond. The lack of governance across Amazonian nations is a primary factor behind countries’ failure to stem forest loss, said experts at an event launching a new Inter-American Dialogue report on May 29.
The largest tropical rainforest on the planet, the Amazon plays a critical role as a storehouse of carbon and mediator of the global water cycle and holds a greater share of the world’s known biodiversity than any other ecosystem. However, unchecked development is placing the Amazon under threat, pushing deforestation rates to near-record levels throughout the region.
The development of energy resources is an integral component of many of Latin America’s economies, from established producers like Colombia and Brazil to newcomers to the global energy market like freshly oil-rich Guyana. However, policymakers and energy companies throughout the region must devise solutions to a variety of fiscal, political, social, and environmental hurdles to ensure successful and sustainable projects, explained speakers at an Inter-American Dialogue event on May 10.
A lack of transmission-line maintenance may have been the immediate trigger for the power outage that left much of Venezuela in darkness on March 7, but it is a symptom of almost two decades of government mismanagement that has debilitated Venezuela’s power sector, draining its reserves of both human and financial capital and nudging it towards collapse.
Regulators and private companies will continue to play important roles in the development of Mexico’s energy resources despite President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s focus on strengthening state-owned companies and enhancing “energy sovereignty” by reducing dependence on energy imports from the United States. This was the key message from speakers at “La nueva política energética de México,” an Inter-American Dialogue event in Mexico City.
In a wide-ranging panel about current events in energy, Lisa Viscidi commented on the shift in the US energy trade balance and its effects on foreign policy, Chinese financing for foreign energy projects, the importance of upgrading transmission lines for expanding renewable power generation, and how the Green New Deal attempts to reframe the discussion on climate change in the US.
Venezuela’s longest-ever blackout, which began on March 7 and lasted until at least March 12 in most of the country, aggravated an already dire humanitarian situation. Lisa Viscidi presented to a special meeting of the OAS Permanent Council about how grave government mismanagement of the power sector debilitated Venezuela’s grid, making electricity rationing a routine and power failures commonplace.
El 22 de marzo el presidente Donald Trump se reunió en Mar-a-Lago con delegados de cinco naciones caribeñas. Uno de los motivos para la reunión era hablar sobre Venezuela. Lisa Viscidi habló con NTN24 sobre la dependencia de las naciones caribeñas del petróleo venezolano, que se les prestaba por muchos años como parte del programa Petrocaribe con tasas de interés bajas y periodos de repago largos, y la continua afinidad ideológica de algunos países con Venezuela.
Directora del Programa de Energía Lisa Viscidi habló con El Financiero TV sobre la grave condición de la industria energética en Venezuela, las medidas que serían necesarias para recuperarla y las barreras para lograrlo.
Argentina’s economic crisis and the fiscal belt-tightening it demands have led to gradual cuts to wholesale electricity and natural gas subsidies for consumers and a liberalization of energy prices over the course of Mauricio Macri’s administration. This has helped make Argentina more attractive as a destination for energy investment despite its economic tumult, said Argentine Secretary of Energy Gustavo Lopetegui at an event organized by the Inter-American Dialogue on March 14.
AMLO’s skepticism of private investment, the cancellation of generation and transmission auctions, and the return to state-led electricity development through bolstering of the CFE threaten to squander Mexico’s renewable potential and drag its clean development efforts backwards.