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Denée Reaves’s Blog

Latin America Green News: Disease-fighting owls in Chile, climate adaptation in Costa Rica, and wind investment in Mexico

Denée Reaves

Posted February 21, 2014

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

February 15th-22nd, 2014

Chile

The Ministry of Energy announced that the net metering regulation will be adopted before the Piñera administration leaves office in March. The net metering law, which allows people with independent energy generators such as solar PV panels of less than 100 kW to feed their excess energy into the grid and be reimbursed for it, was passed two years ago. Yet without the regulation in place, the law cannot enter into force. The ministry is not releasing details about the regulation’s contents. (Pulso, 2/19/2014)

Chile’s National Forestry Service (CONAF) announced that it is using an unusual weapon to fight recent deadly outbreaks of Hantavirus the country: owls – in particular the Chilean white owl and the Magellanic horned owl. These birds’ diets consist almost entirely of rodents, which makes them potential allies in the effort to stop the disease, which is spread by the long-tailed pygmy rice rat, or “colilargo.” (Santiago Times 2/18/2014)

Costa Rica

Costa Rican organizations that carry out climate change adaptation projects to reduce vulnerability in the agriculture, water resources and fishing sectors now have access to a new source of financing. Up to US $10 million in funding is now available for adaptation projects in Costa Rica as part of the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol. (El Finaciero 2/19/2014)

The marine conservation group, MarViva, and the Ocean and Limnology Research Center (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica are questioning the positive ruling by a legislative special committee on a proposed bill on that proposes the use of a fish exclusion device on shrimp trawling net to limit fish bycatch. According to MarViva the proposed bill seeks to reinstate shrimp trawling in Costa Rica despite the fact that the Constitutional Court ruled to prohibit the renewal of existing trawling licenses due to environmental impacts.  CIMAR has noted that the proposal contained in the bill is not technically viable. (La Nación 2/20/2014)

Mexico

Due to a stagnant economy in Spain, the country’s biggest utility provider, Iberdrola, will shift investments to Latin America, Britain and the U.S. The company has decided to invest in Mexico in particular because of the huge potential and opportunities the country presents. Ibderdrola’s first efforts in Mexico will include building various power plants. The company will be investing $13 billion from now until 2016 with Latin America receiving the second largest pot of that money. (Bloomberg 2/19/2014)

Baja California has positioned itself as the spearhead for wind energy investments with the installation of its new wind park located in La Rumorosa. The wind park, built by the Mexico Power Group, contains 36 turbines, represents an investment of $150 million, and produces 72 megawatts of energy for Baja Californians. The La Rumorosa wind project will also create 300 construction jobs and 60 permanent jobs, save 10% on costs of lighting in the region, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  (Uniradio Informa 2/19/2014)

The Presidents of Mexico and the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada met on Wednesday for their “Three Amigos” summit to reaffirm the agreements between the three North American countries. The major issues discussed in the summit were coordination on energy, easier transportation between the countries, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. The three leaders also committed to forming a working group on the conservation of monarch butterflies, whose migration pattern spans the three countries. (Excelsior 2/20/2014, ABC News 2/20/2014)

Regional

Bolivia’s government announced the opening of its first wind farm, a 3MW project in the municipality of Qollpana in the Cochabamba state. The director of the company behind the project, Empresa Eléctrica Corani, said they could expand the project with 15 additional turbines to have an installed capacity up to 30MW. (La Patria 2/14/2014)

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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