Political Transition: United States-Argentina Relations, Energy and Climate, and a Discussion of the Incoming Biden Administration

Lisa Viscidi speaks at an Institute of the Americas webinar on hydrocarbon development in Argentina

External Engagement

The Institute of the Americas held a virtual roundtable December 3-4, 2020, on barriers and opportunities for hydrocarbon development in Argentina. Lisa Viscidi, director of the Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries Program at the Dialogue, was a panelist at the event. She discussed president-elect Biden’s energy plans, US-Argentine relations, and clean technology investment. 

Comments by Lisa Viscidi:

“When we’re talking about Biden’s energy and climate policy, the first thing to say is that he has very ambitious plans on climate change. He’s made it clear that this is going to be central to his energy policy and his foreign policy. In his discussion with Alberto Fernández, climate change was one of the topics that was on the agenda. It was also one of the topics on the agenda when he spoke to the president of Costa Rica. I think that we can expect to see the Biden administration will put climate change on the agenda with many other countries as well.”

“A central part of Biden’s climate and energy plan is to tie it with economic growth investments and exports in the United States. For that reason, I think there’ll be an increased emphasis on clean technology exports to the region and the promotion of clean energy investments by US companies in Latin America. During the campaign, Biden said that his administration would make low-cost financing available for clean energy. This is very relevant to Argentina because Argentine companies have recently had a very hard time getting financing for renewable energy projects. There are currently dozens of renewable energy projects in Argentina that won contracts during the RenovAr auctions that are supposed to have already come online and haven’t, largely because they can’t access financing. I see this as being a potential useful area for collaboration with the United States.”

“On the oil and gas side, there are a couple of areas that were talked about during the campaign. Biden did not get behind the ban on fracking that some of the other candidates in the democratic primaries said they would. In fact, he clearly said he would not ban fracking. However, he did say that he would stop leasing and permitting for new oil and gas developments, including conventionals, on federal lands. This is clearly a change in direction from the Trump administration.”

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Full recording of the event available here:


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