October 27, 2014
Launch of the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All 2014-2024
By Energias Renovables
Ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the energy efficiency and doubling the percentage of renewable energy in the global matrix — this is what a new initiative by the Organization of United Nations (UN) proposed in Santiago, Chile during a launch event for the Americas.
Started in 2011, the program was presented to the region by the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet; the Executive Director of Sustainable Energy For All (SE4ALL) and Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kandeh Yumkella; the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena; the Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Hans Schulz; and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations system in Chile, Antonio Molpeceres.
The IDB Vice Presidency, one of the three regional organizations that work on the global initiative in addition to the African Bank of Development and the Asian Development Bank, said that the IDB is close to achieving the goal of allocating US$5 million dollars over five years to finance sustainable energy projects, as was pledged in 2012 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio + 20).
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Financing for the energy efficiency market in Brazil
By Alvaro Silveira
Energy has been a much discussed topic recently in Brazil given the price increases, which are in higher levels than the annual inflation of the country. A major challenge for entrepreneurs is how to reduce these costs, considering that energy is a central contributor in various phases of their business activities.
A direct way to reduce spending is the implementation of energy efficiency measures, for example, the implementation of more intelligent technologies that enable the reduction of energy consumption on the day to day activities of the company within all of its activities.
To support the deployment of these technologies, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) implemented the Energy Efficiency Guarantee Mechanism (EEGM) in Brazil, an innovative joint initiative with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Fund for the Environment (GEF), the mechanism contributes to the reduction of existing barriers in financing transactions in the energy efficiency market in Brazil.
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October 20, 2014
A Laboratory for Climate Finance
By Kelle Bevine
One month after the UN Climate Summit wrapped up in New York, where millions asked world leaders and decision makers for tangible solutions to climate change, we are still left with the question: What’s next?
Certainly the upcoming UN Conference of the Parties (COP) in Lima followed by Paris COP in 2015 will be important forums to continue the conversation. But what can be done now?
Much has been discussed about the role of the private sector in financing climate solutions. Pledges amounting to more than $200 billion, albeit from both governments and the business community, have been committed by the end of 2015.
However, without public policies in place that send the right signals to pursue for low-carbon and climate resilient development, these funds may not be enough to mobilize the private sector at the scale needed to ensure a sustainable future. Thus policy makers face the pressure of delivering frameworks that will bring climate related investments to robust levels in the coming years. For that to happen, private investors must be incentivized to engage in low-carbon and climate-resilient long-term investments where they see a positive return on their money, outweighing the risks and costs and making climate finance a commercially attractive option.
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October 16, 2014
Three success stories in sustainable energy in Latin America
Renewables, efficiency and universal access are the three keys for the region to grow in a clean and sustainable way
By Hans Schulz
When I lived in Santiago, I tried to explore as many of the diverse and spectacular landscapes of Chile as possible, and the experience always makes me think of a quote by Pablo Neruda: “He who does not know the Chilean forest, does not know this planet.”
In Latin America and the Caribbean, we work to strengthen our planet, sustainability and the future of business with a long-term perspective. Today, I returned to Chile for the launch of the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All Americas (SE4ALL Americas) and its Regional Meeting of the Americas. Let me share three examples in which the region is aligned with the initiative of the United Nations.
1. Renewable energy
Uruguay is one of the countries in the region that has quickly taken action to diversify its energy supply. In 2011, Uruguay had 40 megawatts of installed wind capacity. [...]
2. Energy efficiency
Unlike the developed world, energy intensity of the region, defined as the amount of energy consumed in relation to GDP, has not improved. But we are taking small steps forward. [...]
3. Energy access
Latin America and the Caribbean has the highest rates of access to electricity in the developing world, reaching 95%. But there is still a paradox: in our region which is so rich in energy, 30 million people still do not have access to it.
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October 7, 2014
Green infrastructure to combat climate change
By Valle Aviles Pinedo
The UN Climate Summit, held in September in New York, highlighted once more the essential role that private sector plays in combating climate change. Along with more than 120 heads of state and government, 200 CEOs participated in meetings to discuss how the public/private sectors and the civil society can work together to curb global warming.
The strongest critics said that the Summit ended with more promises than concrete actions. However, New York was a stop before Paris, where in December 2015 the decisive conference is going to take place and it is expected the international treaty will have binding responsibilities. Besides capturing the attention of public opinion through social networks, media and protests in over 2,800 cities, the Summit managed to involve the private sector, raising the level of discussion, and prepares the ground for treaty negotiations in Paris.
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October 9, 2014
Montes del Plata inaugurates its industrial complex in Uruguay
Uruguay President Jose Mujica attends inauguration
Watch photo gallery
In September, Montes del Plata officially opened its industrial complex in Punta Pereira, in Uruguay. The heads of the government, led by President Jose Mujica and about 1,500 guests participated in the inauguration.
In total, US$ 2,270 million were invested in the new complex, and US$ 230 million in its related ports. It should be mentioned that these figures represent the most important private investment in the history of Uruguay.
The world-class technology complex comprises a pulp production plant, a port terminal and a power plant based on biomass.
The industrial complex is expected to contribute $844 million per year to Uruguay’s GDP. In addition, the biomass plant will supply up to 80 MW to the national grid, equivalent to powering 200,000 homes.
Watch photo gallery of the mega-project
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