Q3 – 2022

President & CEO’s Column

Due in part to climate change, the extreme weather events we’ve experienced across the Americas this past year (which may have once been considered historically atypical) are now becoming a regular occurrence.  The impacts have ranged from a mega drought across the U.S. Southwest and Mexico;  historic flood conditions in the U.S Southeast; and wildfires along Argentina’s Parana River waterway as well as the recent hurricanes impacting coastal residents from as far north as Canada’s Atlantic Provinces to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Programs

ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY

The third quarter found the Energy & Sustainability Program busy preparing for the relaunch of the La Jolla Conference in person on September 28-29. With developments here at home in California on the energy and climate front, not to mention across the globe, there was no lack of content for our panels and discussions.

As part of the preparations for the event we recorded two “Curtain Raiser” interviews with Jose Luis Manzano, the Chairman of Integra Capital and Tom Reicher, CEO of Environmental Resources Management (ERM).

We were thrilled to host over 100 attendees from across the hemisphere here in La Jolla for high-level debate and discourse, not to mention relaxed networking and dealmaking.

In July, we collaborated with our colleagues from the Environment and Climate Change program on a report timed to coincide with the visit of Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to Washington, DC.  

Also in July, we teamed up for the second year in a row with the Brazilian Center for Foreign Relations, CEBRI, on a unique virtual panel and the English language launch of the report from CEBRI and BMA Advogados Energy in a World in Transition.” 

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Our Non-Resident Fellow, Leonardo Beltran was also busy. He penned an essay for Americas Quarterly looking at the unfolding USMCA trade dispute Mexico: When Trade and Energy Policy Collideand co-authored a related paper examining North America’s potential to transform into an EV manufacturing powerhouse.

Non-Resident Fellow Chris Sladen’s July Energy Matters essay Don’t give away the future issued a campaign-season plea to those out canvassing for votes who may not be properly considering the role of energy and the key policies to guide our path to Net Zero. 

California made news in August with a landmark state law aimed at banning sale of internal combustion engines by 2035. Our team authored a short policy brief analyzing the policy and implications for Latin America and the Caribbean. 

La Jolla Energy Conference Curtain Raiser Videos

To set the stage for the topic and discussion, in this La Jolla Conference Curtain Raiser interview, our E&S Vice President, Jeremy Martin spoke with Tom Reichert, CEO of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) about how ESG and sustainability objectives are driving investment across Latin America and the globe.

Tom Reichert also shared insights on operationalizing ERM’s own carbon reduction goals and timelines.

In our second interview, Jeremy Martin spoke with Jose Luis Manzano, Chairman of Integra Capital about the need to balance the economic requirements of countries in the region with climate objectives, the major challenges to scale critical mineral production, but also how Latin America should seize the opportunity to be a major supplier of energy to the world.

They also chatted about Argentina.

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE (EC2)

The EC2 program looks to catalyze private sector-led sustainable financing, expanded exports, and responsible tourism and investment in Latin America by pro-actively working to empower a future generation of Latin business, public sector and civil society leaders committed to seizing the current COVID-19 moment to position their respective institutions and communities toward a more sustainable future.

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Blue Carbon Initiative

Blue carbon ecosystems are among the most important ecosystems capable of mitigating some of the impacts from climate change. In dry, desert areas like the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, wetlands like the Bay of San Quintín in Baja California, and Magdalena Bay in Baja California Sur, provide a variety of ecosystem services like fisheries, aquaculture and tourism that sustain the livelihood of thousands of people. As part of the Las Californias project, we used the InVEST Blue Carbon models developed by Stanford’s Natural Capital Project to estimate the carbon stocks in mangroves, marsh vegetation and seagrass meadows in these coastal bays. This tool helped produce a holistic analysis of two biologically important regions influenced by natural and anthropogenic activity. Estimating the economic benefits generated through ecosystem services can strengthen regional management and conservation efforts. Each report integrates data to help local stakeholders design conservation and restoration strategies, as well as inform management decisions that help prevent environmental damage forward.

As part of the Las Californias Blue Carbon Initiative, we undertook a study entitled “Legal Analysis of the Ownership and Use Regime of Mangroves, Seagrass And Macroalgae in Mexico, in Connection to their Capacity to Generate Blue Carbon Offsets.

It is an in-depth analysis of the legal and regulatory framework of coastal and marine ecosystems in Mexico and their relation to international and potential future domestic carbon markets, including the legal status of such habitats, with the ultimate objective of shedding light on what is missing legally for Mexico to monetize carbon sequestered by them.

You can find the Spanish, original version of the study here and the English translation here. We held a webinar with the authors of the analysis and other experts on September 20th.

Participation in the UN Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) 2022

As part of the Latin American and the Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) organized by the United Nations and the Government of the Dominican Republic that took place July 18th-22nd, the IOA hosted a side-panel titled “Decarbonization Across Supply Chains: The Role of Regulations on Climate Risks Disclosures,” which addressed the challenges and opportunities of climate disclosure regulations, their role in supporting a net-zero transition by the private sector, and the decarbonization of supply chains.

Panelists included our non-resident fellow, Soffia Alarcon, as well as Keith Nurse, President of the St Lucia Community College in St. Lucia; David Colin, COO of MexiCO2; Ivan Islas Cortes, Associate Director of Carbon Trust Mexico; and, Mauricio Mira Ponton, Americas Director of Climate Policy, Finance and Carbon Markets.

Click here to read a related Q&A briefing with the experts.

Marine Pollution Research Project – Results and Infographics

As a part of our Marine Pollution Project, focusing on ship-born pollution from Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (also known as scrubbers), particularly from 10 cruise ships that stayed for long periods during the pandemic in the Bay of La Paz, in the Gulf of California, we have published two new infographics on the results from our study.

Created by dataMares, these graphics are available in both English and Spanish.

Click here to see the new graphics, to learn about our study, or read the full report! You can also find here a cool new map we developed on the different policies and regulations throughout the Americas that help curve this source of marine pollution.  

EC2 Featured Videos

UC-TV Recorded Sessions of the Pacific Climate Forum are now Available!

On June 1-3, 2022, the Institute, alongside Scripps Institute of Oceanography and UCSD’s School of Global Policy & Strategy, hosted the Pacific Climate Forum of the Americas. UC-TV recorded a few of our great sessions that are now available, covering the following topics:

ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS

IOA co-hosts COMCAL meeting with UC San Diego USMEX to review California’s EV regulatory mandate and cross-border impacts

Senior policymakers from the States of California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur met on September 14 at the first meeting of the Commission of the Californias (COMCAL) since its re-establishment in December 2019.

Officials at this tri-state meeting discussed the need for expanded binational cooperation to address emerging cross-border issues, including barriers and opportunities associated with the California Air Resources Board’s recently approved Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) regulatory mandate.

See press release in English and Spanish.

IOA co-authors study analyzing cross-border impacts of California’s EV regulatory mandates

To help facilitate dialogue among the tri-state policymakers, the IOA, the Center for US-Mexico Studies, San Diego State University’s Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias, and the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur published an issue paper in English and Spanish entitled, Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) Rule:  An Assessment of Economic Opportunities & CrossBorder Impacts in the Las Californias Region.  

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Distinguished Speaker Series: Saleem Ali, author of Orderly Earth: How Natural Laws Define Human Life

The Institute’s Public Programs featured Distinguished Speaker Saleem Ali, Ph.D., an environmental economist, who spoke about his new book Earthly Order: How Natural Law Defines Human Life. Dr. Ali explained, using a multi-disciplinary approach, how natural laws impact and define our lives.

“Humanity has either tried to conquer or capitulate to natural order” when instead it should “seek to understand the latent structures and patterns that permeate all systems and develop an earthly order, that is socially functional and sustainable.”

He maintains that the development of an earthly order will help us better address both current and emerging planetary crises.  Dr. Ali is a Professor of Energy & the Environment at the University of Delaware and a National Geographic Explorer. See related video

People

We are thrilled and grateful to have this stellar group of new Thank you to our former IOA interns for their hard and awesome work!

Nathaniel Wiener, a rising senior at Kenyon College supported the Institute this past summer with research related to California’s electric vehicle regulatory mandate and potential cross-border impacts in the Las Californias region.

Daniela Nelson, a recent graduate of UC San Diego’s School for Global Policy & Strategy concluded 6 months of service as a part time research associate for the Institute’s Environment & Climate Change Program (EC2).

 

Jonah Harris, concluded 7 months of serve as an EC2 intern this summer to return to school to pursue a Master’s of Science in Climate Change degree from King’s College in the United Kingdom

 

Events – SAVE THE DATE!

Baja Energy Ambassadors (private) – October-December, 2022

The workshop seeks to foster energy literacy and a deeper understanding of the energy sector for community leaders in Baja California.

Geothermal Across the Americas Part II

October 18, 2022 | Virtual

Madrid Energy Conference

April 18-20, 2023 | Meliá Madrid Hotel

In the News:

Hará trabajo conjunto Secretaría del Trabajo de BC con su Homóloga de California

diariotijuana: September 21, 2022

COMCAL se reúne para revisar el mandato regulatorio del vehículo eléctrico en California y su impacto Transfronterizo

el-mexicano: September 20, 2022

El plan de California para poner fin a las ventas de automóviles de gasolina para 2035 Implicaciones para América Latina y el Caribe

heraldodemexico: September 6, 2022

Can North America Transform from a Conventional Automaking Hub to an EV Powerhouse?

energypolicy.columbia: August 30, 2022

Mexico Sees Its Energy Future in Fossil Fuels, Not Renewables

nytimes: August 19, 2022

Energy transition: The pending challenges for ‘the cleanest region on the planet’

bnamericas: August 18, 2022

Mexico: When Trade and Energy Policy Collide

americasquarterly: August 18, 2022

What Does Petro’s Plan to Decarbonize Colombia Involve?

thedialogue: July 8, 2022

Energy matters – Don’t give away the future

anzmex: July 4, 2022