The energy transition in Latin America

Global clean energy trends

The international debate on energy and development has evolved dramatically since the 1950s. Two key concepts, global warming on the one hand and the need for an energy transition on the other, are now at the forefront of scientific knowledge, international debate, and government policymaking. Global warming is defined as the gradual rise in mean temperatures, caused by increased carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions associated with economic growth, and which has been shown to have potentially disastrous effects on the future of human habitation including extreme weather and rising sea levels. Concerned over the need to tackle climate change, nearly 200 countries signed the Paris climate accords of 2015. They committed the signatories to taking voluntary steps, described as ‘nationally determined contributions’ (NDCs), which are designed to keep the rise in global temperatures well below 2 degrees centigrade, compared to pre-industrial levels, and preferably, to come in at below that with no more than 1.5 degrees C of global warming. They also committed to reducing emissions as soon as possible and achieving ‘net zero’ status (where total emissions are offset by various types of carbon capture) by the middle of this century (2050).

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