Latin America has historically relied on large hydroelectric dams, natural gas, oil, diesel, and coal to meet its energy needs. But this outdated energy mix has created a host of problems: conflicts with local and Indigenous communities, unsustainable subsidies, toxic air and water pollution, and unexpected blackouts. Climate change only makes matters worse, as changing precipitation and weather patterns reduce the dependability of hydroelectric plants.
Fortunately, many of the region’s countries are emerging as global leaders in renewable energy, enabled by their remarkable natural resources. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, Latin America has enough renewable energy potential to meet its 2050 electric demand 22 times over. To support and grow the transition to renewables, NRDC is working in countries including Mexico and Chile to promote innovative thinking and action around renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage, and other technologies.
Policymakers around the region are spurring clean energy investment through tools like renewable energy portfolio standards, feed-in tariffs, financing vehicles, and energy auctions. As a result, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and Uruguay have repeatedly been listed among Climatescope’s top 10 developing countries for clean energy investment. Beyond the electricity sector, countries and cities have begun transitioning to clean transportation solutions such as vehicle efficiency and renewable energy–based electromobility.
NRDC experts assist by identifying information gaps, providing technical and economic analyses, and sharing policy recommendations. In coalition with our many partners, we advocate for solutions that will build healthier communities and help countries shake their dependence on the fossil fuels that feed climate change.