Latin American energy policy prioritises living standards over energy transition
GLOBAL ENERGY - Punta del Este (72)
The main objective of the energy programmes implemented in Latin America is not the energy transition and diversifying the energy sources, but assuring higher social and economic living standards for the citizens, Alfonso Blanco, the General Secretary of the Latin American Energy Organization (OLADE) stated in his speech at the first conference of the Regional to Global cycle taking place in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

“Energy programmes of our countries need to be targeted not only at implementing the energy transition and diversification of the energy sources, but at social and economic development and improving the people’s living standards”, he said.

The key solution to this is to assure energy sources accessibility for the public. “Just 20 years ago more than 60 mln residents of Latin America did not have access to energy. Now this number deceased down to 16 mln”, Blanco explained.

Only in Haiti, 6 mln people (60% of the population) still do not have access to electricity. “Haiti is an evidence of big gap in the development of our countries”, he said.

According to Blanco, the availability of sizeable oil and gas reserves is the main factor underpinning the progressive social and economic development and improving of the living standards for the people of Latin America. That is why the majority of the countries in this region cannot stop using oil and gas  overnight.

“The budget revenues from selling oil achieve 20% in Brazil, and over 40% in Venezuela, where in certain years they amounted even to 60%, these revenues constitute 10% in Columbia and on the average 13% in Mexico. This is why if stop using oil overnight, it would mean refusal from budget revenues and respectively – from our development opportunities”, he added.

Such approach does not mean that Latin American countries accounting for about 5% of globalСО2 emissions do not set the targets of protecting the environment and observing the climate agenda. But these targets should be implemented step-by-step and should be accounted by developing the programmes of the public spending redistribution and reorganising the system of tax budget revenues.

The first conference of the Regional to Global cycle is dedicated to the role of Latin America in energy sector, as well as to the potential of using clean energy sources across the region. Sergey Brilev, the Global Energy President, became the moderator of the first session.


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February 2023