Latin America Daily Briefing
The UN COP28 talks, underway in the oil-producing United Arab Emirates, are bogged down in “divisions over fossil fuels and acrimony over lagging financing and geopolitical tensions around the war in Gaza,” reports Al Jazeera. The collapse of a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war Friday “cast a long shadow over the talks,” reports the Associated Press.
- Brazil, Chile and Barbados joined a group of 118 governments that pledged to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity by 2030, as a route to cut the share of fossil fuels in the world’s energy production, reports Reuters. Led by the European Union, United States and UAE, the pledge also said tripling renewable energy would help remove CO2-emitting fossil fuels from the world’s energy system by 2050 at the latest.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inñacio Lula da Silva said the country is joining OPEC+ in 2024, but it will tell oil producers to get ready to “reduce fossil fuels”, he said in UAE on Saturday. (AFP)
- On Sunday he clarified that Brazil will never join the OPEC+ group of oil-producing nations as a full member and instead only seeks to participate as an observer, reports Reuters.
- Brazil’s OPEC move undermines the Lula administrations environmental advances and any pretensions the leader might have for climate leadership, writes Jonathan Watts in the Guardian. “Brazilian climate campaigners said the timing and symbolism were horrendous and a sign of the divisions within a country that has made huge strides to reduce deforestation of the Amazon, even as it has ploughed ahead with oil exploration in ecologically sensitive areas.”
- Colombia has formally joined an alliance of nations calling for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty to prevent the “omnicide of planet Earth”, President Gustavo Petro announced at Cop28. (Guardian)
- Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol announced last week that it will invest between $5.7 billion and $6.7 billion and produce up to 730,000 barrels per day equivalent in 2024. (Reuters)
- The Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAF) will invest more than $2 billion annually totaling $15 billion until 2030 in Latin America to fight climate change, the bank announced on Saturday in Dubai. (Reuters)
- The impact of “failed promises” to address the rapid rise in global temperatures is strikingly evident in Antarctica in the South Pole, according to the UN Resident Coordinator in Chile. (United Nations)
- By the time COP28 ends, Argentina will be embarking on a presidency led by a climate change denier, opening “up doubts around the future of the country’s environmental agenda,” reports El País.
- Firefighters in Argentina’s Cordoba province are filling government climate policy gaps, reports the Guardian.
- Venezuelans have approved a referendum called President Nicolás Maduro to claim sovereignty over a chunk of neighboring Guyana, reports the Guardian. (See Friday’s post.)
- Venezuela’s National Electoral Council claimed more than 10.5 million ballots were cast in the country of 20 million eligible voters, though media reports few voters seen at polling centers. (Guardian)
- The referendum result, came after the International Court of Justice warned Caracas against “annexation” of the territory called Essequibo, reports Al Jazeera.
- Many Latin American countries have been sympathetic to Palestine in the conflict with Israel — Meriem Laribi writes in Le Monde Diplomatique.
- Honduran authorities issued an arrest warrant for the alleged mastermind of the 2016 assassination of environmental Indigenous activist Berta Cáceres. Prosecutors formally accused Daniel Atala Midence, the former financial manager of a dam company Cáceres campaigned against, with masterminding the murder. Atala Midence is part of one of the most powerful economic and political families in the country, according to the Guardian.
- Sheynnis Palacios’ recent win of the “Miss Universe” title in a pageant held in El Salvador has resonated with Nicaraguans — but the Ortega government has clamped down on spontaneous celebrations, likely in part because of Palacios’ past participation in anti-government demonstrations, reports the Guardian.
- On Friday Nicaraguan police accused the family that operates the country’s Miss Universe franchise of “conspiring against the nation.” A police statement said Karen Celebertti had used “spaces supposedly dedicated to promoting ‘innocent’ beauty pageants,” in a foreign-backed plot to boost the opposition. Her husband and son were also named in the complaint, reports the Washington Post.
- Lawmakers in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre passed a law later revealed to be drafted by ChatGPT. (Washington Post)
- “Dr. Carissa Etienne, the medical doctor and public health trailblazer whose calm demeanor and resolve helped steer Latin America and the Caribbean through the COVID-19 pandemic, has died. She was 71,” reports the Miami Herald.
- The critical role of hairstyles in right wing populism has been overlooked, according to the Guardian. “From Boris Johnson to Javier Milei, Geert Wilders and Donald Trump, sporting a wild and woolly barnet spells virility, charisma and populist appeal.”