Our Latin America Director, Dr Sergio Missana, recently returned from a mission to Latin America to meet with legislators and government officials from Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, and discuss with them local climate impacts, the potential for renewable energy, and the ongoing parliamentary activities of the Climate Parliament groups in the legislatures of those countries.
In Lima, as well as several productive meetings with civil society and NGO representatives, Dr Missana met with Congressman Mesías Guevara, leader of the Climate Parliament Peru chapter, to discuss organising a workshop for legislators and drafting a new renewable energy law for presentation during the 2015 parliamentary calendar. He also gave a presentation on the potential for renewable energy in Peru at a session of the Andean, Amazonic and Afro-Peruvian Peoples, Environment and Ecology Commission. Ten MPs were in attendance, including Mr Federico Pariona (President of the Commission and a member of the CP group), Verónika Mendoza, Daniel Abugattás, Claudia Coari, Johnny Cárdenas, Antonio Medina, Marisol Espinoza, Leyla Chihuán, Sergio Tejada and Juan Castagnino. The presentation emphasized the key role that renewables could play in the Peruvian energy matrix and the potential for the country to become a solar exporter, within the context of the discussion of a new climate change law.
Following a fruitful round of meetings in Peru, Dr Missana travelled to Bolivia, where he met with several legislators from both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, in order to present the Climate Parliament's objectives, methodology and strategy. Senators Erwin Rivero, Ciro Zabala, Edwin Rodríguez, and Arturo Murillo, as well as Deputies Romina Pérez and Norma Piérola, were all keen to engage with the Climate Parliament network and help build a strong group of MPs working on environmental and renewable energy issues within the Bolivian legislature. Bolivia has excellent solar, wind and geothermal potential which is currently going untapped, as well as several rural areas still suffering from energy poverty - which distributed renewables could alleviate.
Finally, Dr Missana travelled to Quito in Ecuador, where he met with several senior figures from the NGO and international development community, as well as Ministry officials and Assemblywoman Marisol Peñafiel, who leads the nascent Climate Parliament group in the Parliament. Discussions focused on Ecuador’s leadership role in the region regarding the constitutional recognition of environmental rights, grid interconnections, work on deforestation through REDD+, and stressing its solar, wind and geothermal potential. Marisol Peñafiel requested that the Climate Parliament organizes a series of presentations by experts at the National Assembly, in order to raise awareness and build the capacity of legislators on these issues.
We look forward to working together with parliamentarians in the Andean region to drive action on renewable energy and climate-safe policies.