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Latin America Green News: Chile lags in climate legislation, Costa Rica companies cut emissions, Mexico works to protect monarchs, Peru launches climate commitments campaign

Denée Reaves

Posted March 8, 2014

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Latin America Green News is a selection of weekly news highlights about environmental and energy issues in Latin America.

March 2nd-8th, 2014

Chile

Authors of a new report from the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) say that Chile lags behind its neighbors in legislating to tackle climate change, despite having set targets and plans. The report looks at climate legislation in 66 countries, and found that Chile “so far lacks comprehensive climate change legislation of the type found in some other Latin American countries.” (Santiago Times, 3/3/2014)

Twenty-nine electric taxis will soon be running in Chile – a first for electric vehicles – thanks to a joint effort by the Ministries of Transport, Telecommunications and Environment. The taxis, which will run silently and will not emit polluting gases, will get 5 kilometers per kilowatt-hour.  Recharging stations will allow for both full charges lasting three hours, or a quick charge that will take 15 minutes. (Diario Financiero, 3/5/2014)

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Institute of Technical Standards (Inteco) certified five additional companies, including travel, hospitality and pension businesses, as carbon neutral. To obtain the certification the companies had to reduce their emissions and compensate for any remaining emissions. With this certification the companies can now use the brand issued by the Ministry of Environment and Energy as part of their corporate image. (El Financiero 3/3/2014)

Waste from as far as Peru and Ecuador is finding its way to the coasts of Coco Island National Park transported by ocean currents. Park rangers must struggle to find adequate ways to dispose of the plastic bottles, containers and other waste they collect along the island’s shores. It is believed the waste is either discarded from ships or finds its way to the open ocean after being dumped into rivers.   (CRHoy.com 03/05/2014)

Mexico

Mexico aims to place itself as a vanguard on global climate change actions with the planned release of its Special Climate Change Program in April of this year. The program will focus on achieving goals of emission reduction and increase in biodiversity in the country by 2050. (El Universal 3/4/14)

Octavio Aburto, biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, and well-known oceanographer Walter Munk will unite for a scientific expedition to Cabo Pulmo National Park on March 21st-28th. The research gathered during this expedition will contribute to a documentary promoting ecotourism, biodiversity and scientific research in the reserve.  The findings will also be available in a science journalism workshop organized by the Institute of the Americas in La Jolla. (AM 3/5/2014)

A working group that included government and civil society participants met for the first time this week to develop Mexico’s proposals to the US and Canada for a joint action plan on monarch conservation. The group, agreed on the need to strengthen payments for ecosystem services in the Monarch Biosphere reserve, increase monitoring and develop ecotourism activities in the region to help generate income for local communities. The group also discussed the need for adequate agricultural policies that avoid disrupting the monarch migration, since decreases in the breeding habitats of the butterfly is the result of land use change and a decreased presence of milkweed, which is linked to herbicide use.(Semarnat  3/5/2014)

Regional 

Peru is calling for its citizens, companies and institutions to register climate commitments in the lead up to the climate negotiations to be held in in Lima this December. The Pon de tu Parte (Do your part) campaign lets participants register commitments in seven key areas: water efficiency, energy efficiency, biodiversity, solid waste management, agriculture, sustainable transportation and carbon footprint. The campaign is a joint effort by the Ministry of Environment and local civil society groups.  (Ministerio del Ambiente de Peru 3/6/2014)

Climate change could reduce the production of grains in Central America by up to 50 percent, primarily affecting small producers. According to a report by the economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the impacts of climate change could mean that by the end of the century the production of maize, beans and rice falls by up to 35 percent, 43 percent and 50 percent, respectively. (El Financiero 3/5/2014)

For more news on the issues we care about visit our Latin America Green News archive or read our other International blogs

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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