Sustainability Dispatch July 2022
Welcome back to Sustainability Dispatch!
As promised, we are back in your inbox to give you the recap of what we have been up to in May and June, and provide you a summary of and the web links to our work. As many of you might remember, in early June we held the Pacific Climate Forum of the Americas, the first large (virtual) event organized by EC2, in which we heard from over 30 speakers on topics related to marine and coastal issues stemming from climate change in nations bordering the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Thank you to all the 300+ people that attended and, for those that could not join us, you can find more details and related links below!
We continued our work on blue carbon in the Baja California Peninsula, for which we published some new reports, as well as on the U.S.-Mexico climate change working group with other partner institutions. Finally, through a collaboration with the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, California, we organized an amazing event on sustainable supply chains and Scope 3 emissions—topic we will be doing more research on. We hope that you find these newsletters interesting and please stayed tuned for more! You will be hearing from me again in early September.
Finally, if you are part of an organization that works on climate change, climate action, resilience, circular economy or similar in Latin America and the Caribbean, and have ideas on how to collaborate, please do not hesitate in reaching out. We would love to work together.
Our recent work
Pacific Climate Forum of the Americas: Promoting Marine Biodiversity & Climate Resilience in an Era of High Risk and Uncertainty
From June 1-3, the Institute of the Americas, alongside our partners at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, hosted the Pacific Climate Forum as a lead up to the 9th Summit of the Americas, which took place from June 6-10 in Los Angeles, California. Over the course of three days, we hosted 10 different sessions and four scientific briefings, led by over 30 experts from countries throughout the continent. We held conversations on topics such as deep decarbonization and the energy transition, water resource management, nature-based solutions and resilience, and marine protected area and sustainable fisheries. Throughout themes and sessions, the message that resonated constantly was the need and importance of more regional cooperation, and of including local and indigenous communities in the discussions and policy-making process. You can already read our high-level summary report here and we will publish the full version of the forum proceedings in the coming days!
Video resources highlighting the San Diego region’s innovative climate action projects and technologies
Water Resource Management in the face of climate change focusing on the Pure Water Program run by the City of San Diego. Richard Kiy, President and CEO of the Institute, interviews Amy Dorman, Senior Engineer of the San Diego Public Utilities Department. »
Marine Protected Areas: Preserving Marine Life, which emphasizes the essential role marine protected areas play in biodiversity conservation efforts. Catalina López, Director of the Gulf of California Marine Program of the IOA, interviews Octavio Aburto, marine scientist from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. »
Coastal Resilience & Nature-based solutions, showcasing projets by the Port of San Diego, such as the Living Oyster Coastline Project that works to protect the coasts and helps build resilience against sea-level rise and storm surges. Tania Miranda, Director of Policy of the EC2 program at the IOA interviews Eileen Maher, Director of Environmental Conservation, Aquaculture and Blue Tech at the Port of SD. »
Green Hydrogen: Energy Transition, where the Clean Hydrogen Initiative of SDG&E highlights how to harness clean hydrogen to power energy projects to advance the energy transition. Jeremy Martin, VP of Energy & Sustainability of the IOA interviews Victor Cervantes, Director of H2 Business Development at SDG&E. »
The U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, California and the IOA co-hosted an event on supply chain challenges and opportunities
Hosted and enabled by the Initiative on Sustainable Development Goals at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), on June 6th representatives from the four leading institutions of the US-Mexico Climate Change Working Group presented the final report and recommendations on A Proposed Agenda for U.S. – Mexico Climate Change Discussions and Potential Collaboration to a group of binational experts, to discuss the main findings and get valuable feedback. This exercise will continue throughout the summer with organizations from both the U.S. and Mexico. Launched in 2021, alongside Brookings Institution, ITESM, and the UC San Diego Center for U.S-Mexican Studies (USMEX), the US-Mexico Climate Change Working Group brings together Mexican and U.S. experts to identify areas of cooperation and propose concrete recommendations to advance pressing climate issues ranging from energy efficiency to climate adaptation.
In the next few weeks, we will be publishing a Spanish and English version of a white paper on the legal and regulatory framework of blue carbon in Mexico, as part of the Las California’s Blue Carbon Initiative. It looks at the legal and policy framework and use regime of blue carbon in Mexico, related to the carbon markets and blue carbon offsets. As part of this project, we will also be publishing an analysis, alongside a series of maps, that highlight the value of wetland ecosystems in Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Sur, Mexico and models this into 2050. It was put together by the Gulf of California Marine Program of the IOA.
So, keep an eye out on the Institute of the Americas social media and website!
We are pleased to announce that the La Jolla Energy Conference, organized by the Energy & Sustainability Program, will return to its in-person format on September 28th-29th. For 30 years, this conference has been a beacon for energy experts and thought leaders to convene and discuss the latest developments in the industry. This year, the theme is on Debating the Future of Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean with an emphasis on the need to reduce emissions, while also ensuring energy security. Be sure to register by clicking this link!
Relevant EC2-related Headlines
May 19th, 2022
Latin America will face some of the more devastating impacts of climate change, with costs being estimated to $100 billion annually as of 2050. This article takes a deep dive into how new sustainable practices can benefit the development of Latin American countries through renewable energy, biodiversity, decarbonization, and the proposition of a Latin America Green Deal.
May 30th, 2022
Agriculture in Latin America is one the world’s leading providers, accounting for 14% of global food production and will be one of the biggest losers at the onset of climate change. Yet, there have been a number of success stories with projects focusing on the adaptation of farms in countries such as Colombia and Argentina. This article provides further exploration into scaling up these projects, the managerial systems required, and connecting rural communities in these efforts.
June 16th, 2022
It has been nearly a year and a half since President Biden has entered office with the promise of committing to a whole-government approach to climate change. With ambitious targets and increased efforts by this administration, it is a vast improvement from the predecessor. Yet, there is still some shortcomings that must be addressed if the US is to meet their promises.
June 17th, 2022
At the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate Action, President Andrés Manuel López re-emphasized Mexico’s commitments towards climate action through a 10-point plan, including the pledge that Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will reduce its methane gas emissions by 98%. This plan includes a 2-billion-dollar allocation for transforming the oil company through Pemex’s own resources and loans.
June 19th, 2022
At the Summit of the Americas, 9 Pacific countries of the continent signed a pact calling for high-level ocean protection. Among them were presidents of Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Ecuador, as well as Foreign Affairs secretaries from Mexico and Canada. The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, was also in the signing.
The geeky, yet cool tool of the month: Can you reach net zero?
Want to try your hand at climate policy? See if you can guide the world to net-zero emissions in this fun game developed by the Financial Times. You will have to make difficult decisions by prioritizing different climate solutions, as you’re under a budget, and you will see the projected impacts of differing policy choices.
The Institute of the Americas’ Environment & Climate Change Program (EC2) strives to catalyze climate leadership amongst the private sector and local/regional governments in the Americas, to promote sustainable growth, tackle climate change and minimize environmental impacts in the region with the goal of protecting its rich marine and land-based natural capital.