Latin America Green News: Chile's biodiversity, Costa Rica's crocodiles, Mexico's fisheries
Posted July 25, 2014
Latin America Green News is a selection of weekly news highlights about environmental and energy issues in Latin America.
July 20th – July 25th, 2014
The Environmental Assessment Commission of the Metropolitan region has rejected the Environmental Impact Assessment presented by Coyanco for the proposed hydroelectric station called “El Canelo.” The project, proposed in San José de Maipo, had already been rejected by the Environmental Evaluation Service as well. Coyanco has ten days to appeal the court’s decision. (Bio Bio Chile 7/22/2014).
Chile and Ecuador have agreed to collaborate on a regulatory framework for electric power interconnection between the two countries. The countries will be drafting a bilateral agreement that allows international purchase power agreements between private firms, as well as working together to build the necessary infrastructure to transport this energy, such as interconnected transmission lines. (BNAmericas 7/22/2014.)
A group of 27 NGOs and environmental experts applauded the Bachelet government for proposing a new law that would a create Biodiversity and Protected Area Service, but said the proposal did not go far enough. The groups noted the bill lacked a comprehensive vision of the importance of protected areas and biodiversity and, among other things, failed to recognize the relationships between water and biodiversity, genetic biodiversity and climate change impacts. (El Dínamo 7/25/2014)
Costa Rican biologist state that there is no data confirming a crocodile overpopulation problem. Studies that would be required to adequately determine the possibility of overpopulation are currently cost prohibitive. Crocodile populations have been monitored over the last two decades, and they show that crocodile populations have remained more or less constant. (CR Hoy 7/21/2014).
Eight electric cooperatives have banded together to create the Chamber of Energy Distribution and Telecom Companies, with the goal of working together to promote energy projects from renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydro, biomass and geothermal. The new group will also work on energy efficiency campaigns in order to lower costs to their customers. The group hopes that tariffs will decrease as they continue to work together. (La Nación 7/24/2014).
Last Monday, legislative representatives of the Frente Amplio (FA) met with the Minister of Environment and Energy to discuss suggestions for how to improve the energy situation in the country. The FA’s suggestions include: tax exemptions for fuel purchased by the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) in order to reduce electricity rates, opposition to the privatization of the ICE and the Costa Rican Petroleum Refinery, greater use of local renewable energies, financial incentives for hybrid/electric cars and promotion of clean energy for public transportation and homes, and harmonization of energy policies and the country’s environmental agenda as well as fully guaranteed rights for indigenous peoples. (Costa Rica On, 7/23/2014).
Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has approved all four energy reform legislative packages approved earlier by the Senate. The Deputies will next focus on three bills related to the fiscal details of the reform. The legislative packages voted on include laws on hydrocarbons, electricity, geothermal power, and mining. The new laws include provisions to create a new National Agency on Industrial Security and Environmental Protection for the hydrocarbon sector. (CNN Mexico 7/22/2014; 7/24/2014)
Higher temperatures resulting from climate change would threaten the Gulf of California’s fishing sector, in particular species like sardines and squid whose numbers have dropped previously. Climate change projections found that higher temperatures could have an impact on the sector similar to what happened in 1992, when sardine catches dropped from 300,000 tons 3,000 tons. (July 25,2014)