Emerging economies will account for more than 90 percent of new energy-generation capacity by 2035, and Latin America is no exception to this trend. In the last 40 years, the region’s primary energy demand has more than doubled. In a global environment of increasingly volatile fuel prices, emerging technologies, and climate-change impacts, the continued increase in demand presents challenges and opportunities to Latin America and the Caribbean. To manage the next phase of development, the region’s governments will need to develop new energy sources and pay more attention to sustainability.
Kammen and students (Juan Pablo Carvallo, Diego Ponce de Leon Barido and Rebekah Shirley) discussed strategies to design and evaluate programs for managing energy and other resources in the region both as a speaker panel for the Center for Latin American Studies at UC Berkeley and in a new publication on integrated tools for building low-carbon economies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Our researchers also delve into the specific case study of Nicaragua along with Fulbright Nexus Fellows 2012–2013. This group explored three case studies at the national, regional and community levels in Nicaragua: breadfruit and food insecurity; rainwater harvesting on the Pacific coast; and, bio-energy production from agricultural waste. This research shows the increasing need to see the climate, land, energy, and water (CLEW) sectors as interrelated, and to proactively plan policy with these interconnections in mind. Nicaragua’s opportunities for sustainable development within a CLEW nexus framework are sufficiently large that the country could well become an example of wise natural resource use for Latin America and the world.
Press release on our work with biogas digesters in Mexico:
Fusion, March 24, 2014. These students have bold ideas on how to make renewable energy more accessible.
Article, full video and photos from our panel discussion with CLAS:
Center for Latin American Studies. February 10, 2014. Sustainable Energy Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Read more about our involvement in the Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Program 2012–2013.
Stakeholders in climate science: beyond lip service?
As part of an ongoing collaboration, the team of
have produced a paper that appeared in Science on November 13, 2015. You can download the:
Summary here for free (open access, by special permission),
Reprint here for free (open access, by special permission),
Full text here for free (open access, by special permission).
For this we thank the AAAS and Science Magazine.
A key part of this project is to collect information and to build a community of practitioner groups that at share their experiences and needs in accessing, using , and finding support in integrating climate information in their operations.
We ask you to read the paper and review the table below of example groups, and to consider both sharing this with groups who you know who have lessons to share, and for those who can upload their information and to download the information on what these groups are doing.
We will update the table of groups regularly as more organizations share their data. You can view and download that data below.
We also invite you feedback on other information you would like to have collected and shared in the process.
You can also download the spreadsheet here.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Nicole Klenk’s research examines the role of (environmental) science in society, the science-policy interface, the politics of knowledge co-production, mobilization and application, and new modes of environmental governance. Her research is mostly situated in the interpretive social sciences and her theoretical orientation is interdisciplinary, drawing from science studies, post-structuralist political theory, and pragmatism. Her areas of focus are forestry, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation.
Fabian Mendez, physician and PhD in Epidemiology, is full time professor and head of the School of Public Health at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. His research interests focus in the complex relationships between environment and health with interdisciplinary approaches. He has developed research in different topics from vector borne diseases to health effects of environmental pollutants, and right now develops a project to evaluate health vulnerability to climate change with a watershed approach in an area of Colombia.
Katie Meehan is assistant professor of Geography and co-director of the Science, Environment, and Society Lab at the University of Oregon. Her research and teaching interests focus on water governance, urbanization, the science-policy interface, and climate change adaptation. Recent work, supported by a Fulbright NEXUS grant, examines the spatial governance challenges associated with institutionalizing local knowledge and non-networked water supply technologies in Mexico City
Sandra Lee Pinel is a certified community and regional planner (AICP) and SFAA member since 1988. PhD in Urban and Regional Planning with minors in Anthropology and Latin American Studies. Research on co-management and collaborative planning with local and indigenous communities and government agencies. Assistant professor of sustainable community and regional planning at the Department of Conservation Social Sciences, U Idaho. Area focus includes Pueblo tribes in the Southwest, Philippines, Peru, and northern United States protected areas and community interface.
Pablo Torres Lima Agronomist specialist in the areas of sustainable development, social anthropology, regional development, environmental design, agroecology, farming systems and social organization.
This project is supported by the Fulbright NEXUS Regional Fellows Program, for which Daniel Kammen is a Co-Lead Scholar, and all of the other authors are 2014 — 2016 Fellows.
Ian is a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow in the Energy and Resources Group and a member of the inaugural “Environment and Society: Data Science for the 21st Century” National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) cohort. His research interests lie at the intersection of energy systems, climate change adaptation, and global health. He is a member of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments Arctic team, investigating biogeochemical factors governing energy fluxes in arctic tundra environments from the plant scale to the model grid-cell scale. He is also interested in developing better tools for characterizing seasonal snowpack variation, in order to improve forecasts of streamflow, water availability, and hydropower production. Ian serves as project manager for Tiny House in My Backyard, a student project to design and build mobile, affordable, and sustainable net-zero energy housing on the Berkeley Global Campus. Prior to arriving at UC Berkeley, he received his BA from Harvard University in Applied Mathematics and spent three years modeling trends in global injury rates at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Outside of academia, Ian is a member of the Tahoe Backcountry Ski Patrol, and he writes about mountain adventures and environmental issues on his blog at TheInertia.com.
Nkiruka Avila is a graduate student in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated with Summa cum Laude honors in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various sectors of the energy industry, from engineering design and production to end-use distribution and marketing. Her current research interests include renewable energy integration, sustainable energy development and rural electrification.
For a video summarizing the program, click here.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt across Africa, leading to greater natural resource scarcity, which has contributed to violent conflict in Darfur (Sudan), Mali, and Somalia, among others. This trend is likely to continue, as Africa is projected to be among geographies most severely impacted by climate change. Though the pathway from climate change to greater natural resource scarcity to violence is not a direct one, the risks of conflict will increase as livelihoods are threatened due to greater scarcity of food, water or arable land. With lower government capacities and limited funding to adapt to climate change impacts, and a relatively weak conflict prevention/resolution architecture in place, climate change is likely to have an increasingly important impact on future conflicts in Africa.
This assessment necessitates new policy planning and development thinking. Despite the threats, the broader global interest in climate change also presents significant opportunities to mobilize new interest and momentum for promoting green development in Africa. This can contribute to an effective conflict prevention strategy, and can also drive increased investment and more diversified economies, improved governance and development outcomes, and greater political stability. This project aims to build the theoretical and practical case for a new model for green development, which can provide both political and economic returns, while delivering both climate sensitive and conflict sensitive development.
Our 3–5 year goal is to seed and support a successful “green” pilot in a still to be selected geography in Africa. A successful pilot will require political buy-in and local political champions, as well as new external investment to support green development projects. This can serve as a model that helps demonstrate the political and economic potential of a green approach, the economic potential of a green framework to external investors, as well as effective conflict prevention. It is our hope that the model, once proven, will be scalable in other geographies.
Timothy E. Lipman is an energy and environmental technology, economics, and policy researcher and lecturer with the University of California — Berkeley. He is serving as Co-Director for the campus’ Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC), based at the Institute of Transportation Studies, and also as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Pacific Region Clean Energy Application Center (PCEAC). Tim’s research focuses on electric-drive vehicles, fuel cell technology, combined heat and power systems, biofuels, renewable energy, and electricity and hydrogen energy systems infrastructure.
Lipman received his Ph.D. degree in Environmental Policy Analysis with the Graduate Group in Ecology at UC Davis (1999). He also has received an M.S. degree in the technology track of the Graduate Group in Transportation Technology and Policy, also at UC Davis (1998), and a B.A. from Stanford University (1990). His Ph.D. dissertation titled “Zero-Emission Vehicle Scenario Cost Analysis Using A Fuzzy Set-Based Framework” received the University of California Transportation Center’s ‘Charlie Wootan’ Ph.D. dissertation award for 1999. He is also a 2005 Climate Change Fellow with the Woods Institute at Stanford University, and he also received a 2004 Institute of Transportation Engineers service award, a 1998 NSF IGERT teaching fellowship, a 1997 University of California Transportation Center Dissertation Grant, a 1996 ENO Foundation Fellowship, a 1995 University of California Transportation Center Dissertation Grant, and a 1994 Chevron Foundation Fellowship. A native of Golden, Colorado, he graduated Cum Laude from Colorado Academy in 1986.