Q1 – 2022
President & CEO’s Column
As the war in Ukraine enters its fifth week –with the resulting destruction of once vibrant cities, cultural heritage and, most of all, the senseless loss of human life – the geo-political and economic impacts across the Americas are ever-present.
While most countries across the Americas have officially condemned Putin’s actions in the UN General Assembly resolution on Russia last month, it was notable, but not surprising that Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador and Nicaragua voted to abstain and Venezuela would fail to even vote at all given the growing level of political influence that Russia has in these countries.
ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY
The new year brought the announcement of two new Non-Resident Energy & Sustainability Fellows: M. Trinidad Castro Crichton, the Executive Director at the World Energy Council Chile and Carla Lacerda, a Brazil expert and former ExxonMobil executive. We are pleased to have them join our team of returning Fellows: Leonardo Beltran, Andres Chambouleyron, Marta Jara, Nelson Narciso, Francisco Xavier Salazar Diez de Sollano, Chris Sladen and Roger Tissot.
2022 Energy Landscape & Outlook
Once again this January, we invited our Non-Resident Fellows to prepare short essays with their views on the landscape and outlook for the sector. Our Fellows are based across the Western Hemisphere and UK and thus provide a unique angle to better understand the contours and possibilities for the year.
Vivir Sin Energía Eléctrica en Baja CaliforniaOur study analyzed the causes and effects of the lack of access to electricity in Baja California. But beyond just an assessment and academic exercise, we sought to give voice to those who continue to live without such a basic service in one of Mexico’s most prosperous states.
ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE
The EC2 program at the IOA has been busy with working to protect coastal mangrove forests and other blue carbon habitats along the Baja California Peninsula; trying to advance climate action bilateral efforts between Mexico and the U.S., and digging deep into air and marine pollution from cruise ships and its relationship to a regulation by the International Maritime Organization.
Las Californias Blue Carbon Report
Examining cross-border, nature-based market solutions to protect blue carbon coastal ecosystems in the Baja California peninsula.
There is a growing need to examine innovative cross-border solutions that extend beyond jurisdictional boundaries. This is especially true in bioregions with shared watersheds and migratory species such as the tri-state binational region of the Californias—California (US), Baja California and Baja California Sur (Mexico). The objective of our report is to examine potential cross-border financial mechanisms to help fund the long-term conservation of coastal wetlands in the Baja California peninsula, not only because of their climate mitigation potential, but because of the ecosystem services they provide to the entire region.
IOA’s STEAM program transitions to UCSD ExtensionWe are thrilled to announce that as of April 1st, the Institute’s 13-year STEAM Program will have a new home at UC San Diego Extension’s Division of Extended Studies (DES). Last month, we signed an agreement with UC San Diego to transition our STEAM Program to become an integral part of DES’ plans to provide Spanish language STEAM education to underserved students locally and in Latin America. In addition, our popular teacher training workshop focused on project-based learning and multidisciplinary teaching pedagogy, proven methodologies to better engage students in STEAM subjects, will also move to DES.
Distinguished Speaker Series
On February 25, we launched our Public Program’s Distinguished Speaker Series with internationally syndicated columnist, thought leader, best-selling author, Dr. Moisés Naím. Dr. Naím highlighted his new book, The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century to explain the confusing time in which we live. He described how today’s autocrats utilize the three P’s of populism, polarization and post-truth to gain and retain power. His talk, coinciding with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, strongly resonated with recent and current events across the globe
Latin America in Crypto, DeFi/CBDC/BlockChain Transition
By Ernie Grijalva, IOA Practioner in Residence
Regardless of the outcome of El Salvador’s cryptocurrency venture, mobile phones, financial technology (“fintech”), decentralized finance (“DeFi”), blockchain technology, and cryptocurrency (“Crypto”), are poised to dramatically alter banking and commerce, and potentially economic stability, throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
We are thrilled and grateful to have this stellar group of new people joining the Institute:
Daniela Nelson, BA in Economics and Sustainable Studies – Villanova University
Environment & Climate Change program (EC2)
Jonah Harris, BA in Public Policy – New York University | MAS in Climate Science and Policy – Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Environment & Climate Change program (EC2)
Ezra Kraus, MA candidate UCSD School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) BA Political Science and Government – University of Puget Sound
Energy & Sustainability program
Events – SAVE THE DATE!
Madrid Energy Conference
April 6-8 | Madrid, Spain
Argentina Energy Roundtable
May 16-17 | Buenos Aires, Argentina
Distinguished Speaker Luis De La Calle: USMCA & the Future of Mexican Economic Competitiveness
May 23 | La Jolla, California
La Jolla Energy Conference
September 28-29 | La Jolla, California
Geothermal Across the Americas Webinar Series – Part I: Geothermal – as a game changer: heat, power and minerals
June 10 | Virtual
In the News:
Institute of the Americas Anniversary
Giving Back Magazine, (Page 62-63) – March 2022
Democratize CFE if It Is to Lead the Energy Transition
Mexico Business News, March 28
¿Puede Venezuela convertirse en un proveedor de petróleo confiable para EEUU? El Tiempo Latino, March 24
El Tiempo Latino, March 24
Will Costa Rica’s Green Hydrogen Plan Be a Success?
Energy Advisor, March 18
Mientras Rusia avanza sobre Ucrania, EEUU y Europa ya sienten los efectos de su dependencia energética
Hispano Post, February 26
Impacto mundial en energía, dadas las sanciones económicas de Estados Unidos a Rusia – Roger Tissot, IOA Energy NonResident Fellow, interview
CNN Radio Argentina, February 24
El Role del gas natural en la transición energética de América Latina
Diálogo Chino, Jan 18