Santiago, Chile | On 9th and 10th September, 2017, Climate Parliament brought together 50 MPs, experts and business leaders from across Latin America to discuss the acceleration of a transition to clean energy in the region. The regional parliamentary hearing followed the third Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial Meeting in Viña del Mar (7th – 8th September) at which Climate Parliament held a side event.
The first day of the event was held at the National Congress building in Santiago. Chile’s Minister for Energy, Mr Andrés Rebolledo, opened proceedings by highlighting that a proactive renewable energy transition is the only way forward for a country such as Chile. Climate Parliament’s Secretary-General Nicholas Dunlop echoed these thoughts, stating the importance of accepting the “external reality” of climate change, and that “climate change is not under control – that is the challenge that faces us.”
What followed was a day of stimulating and informative presentations and discussions on renewable energy integration, electric vehicles, smart grids, renewable energy communities and the financing plans for such projects. Presenters included business leaders such as Alexandre Tonello from Eletrobrás and Pierre Devillers from ENGIE, as well as experts including Professor Jaime Alée from the University of Chile, Pedro Gamio - former Vice Minister of Energy for Peru, Carlos Finat – Executive Director of the Chilean Association of Renewable Energy (ACERA), and a virtual presentation from Richard Kauffman, the Chair of Energy and Finance for New York.
Additionally, India’s Ambassador to Chile, H.E. Anita Nayar gave a presentation to the group on the International Solar Alliance, which promotes Indian and global investment in solar power development. The aim is to provide cheap solar power to millions of people around the world. Ms Nayar encouraged the countries of the Americas to sign and ratify the agreement.
On Sunday, discussions centred on the launch of Climate Parliament’s Green Grid Initiative. This South-South initiative will bring together 20 developing countries to power the world through renewable energy by implementing smart electricity grids at all levels. Participants around the table shared their thoughts on the actions and next steps needed to fulfil the ambitious but necessary goal of powering the world with 100% renewable energy by mid-century.
The second day of the event also included a trip to the Quilapilún Solar Generation Plant in Colina. This huge solar park has a 130 MW capacity with over 350,000 solar panels spanning 347 hectares of land, and inspired parliamentarians to be proactive in promoting renewable energy projects in their own governments.
This parliamentary hearing was made possible by support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).