Latin America Advisor

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Will Latin America Benefit From China’s New Energy Policy?

China will stop financing the construction of new coal-fired power plants abroad, President Xi Jinping told the U.N. General Assembly in September in a pre-recorded video message. // Photo: United Nations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced during the U.N. General Assembly in September that China would stop building new coal-fired power plants abroad, adding that the Asian nation would also “step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy,” Bloomberg News reported. Will the announcement mark a significant shift in Chinese foreign energy policy, and how does the decision to stop funding coal-fired power plants affect Latin American and Caribbean countries? What role does China currently play in financing green and low-carbon energy projects in the region? What potential is there for further Chinese investment in Latin America’s renewables sector, and which countries are poised to most benefit from the announced policy change?

Rebecca Ray, senior academic researcher at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center: “President Xi Jinping’s announcement to ‘step up’ support for renewable energy across the Global South has two major implications for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). First, it could unlock a new chapter in LAC energy development. Boston University Global Development Policy Center research has identified 83 gigawatts (GW) in new renewable energy projects that LAC governments have proposed through their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement, representing a significant increase in the region’s current renewable energy capacity. If China were to support that portfolio, it could more than quadruple the amount of renewable energy China already supports…”

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A sister publication of the Inter-American Dialogue’s daily Latin America Advisor, the weekly Energy Advisor captures fresh analysis from business leaders and government officials on the most important developments in oil and gas, biofuels, the power sector, renewables, new technologies, and the policy debates shaping the future of energy in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. To subscribe or for more information, contact Erik Brand, publisher of the Advisor, at [email protected].

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