Rebecca O’Connor was a program associate at the Inter-American Dialogue in the Energy, Climate Change and Extractive Industries Program from 2015-2018. She contributed to the program’s research on topics including US energy policy and its effects on Latin America, clean energy innovation, electric transportation, and the commodity price decline’s effects on the region. She has been published in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Mexico Energy and Business Magazine and Istituto per gli studi di politica internazionale (ISPI). Rebecca also coordinated the program’s events and conferences in the US and throughout Latin America. She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University, where she received her BA in International Relations and Spanish. Prior to this, Rebecca worked at the Central American Refugee Center of New York and interned at the Council of the Americas and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.
Energy continues to be a bright spot in the US-Latin America relationship and new developments, like an uptick in US LNG exports, offer opportunities to increase energy security and cooperation across the Western Hemisphere.
Addressing Latin America’s transportation challenges requires an integrated approach that includes stemming the growth in demand for private vehicles through the improvement of public transportation systems and non-motorized forms of transport; raising the levels of fuel efficiency and fuel quality; and diversifying fuel sources.
With the fastest growing car fleet in the world, Latin America has reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Costa Rica, with its strong commitment to tackling climate change, is positioning itself to vastly expand EV use in the next five years.