Guy Edwards, IBES Research Fellow and co-director of the Climate Development Lab at Brown, was recently featured in the China Daily newspaper for his comments describing Latin America's progressive stance on climate change and China's current opportunity to further sustainability in the region. The coverage emerged from a weekend discussion at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas in New York, where panelists examined the United States' absence from Latin American relations and the new partnerships with nations like China and Russia that may emerge out of this vacancy.
Despite a history of friendly relations between the United States and Latin America, in recent years the U.S. has appeared relatively silent regarding the economic well-being of their southerly neighbors. This spirit of inaction has paved the way for other large, influential nations to step in as advocates for nations such as Brazil, Chile, and Peru.
Guy Edwards, a research fellow at the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, believes that this advocacy will be especially valuable to those Latin American nations seeking to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
"Latin America is eager to play an active and leading role in UN climate-change activities," said Edwards. "Peru hosted the [UN] climate talk's conference last year. The US, in part because of internal political differences, is reluctant to be a leader on the issue."
Thanks to China's innovative technologies, Edwards sees an unaparalleled opportunity for the nation to offer support to Latin America with regard to environmental initiatives. "China has some of the most productive and efficient renewable energy technology in wind and solar," he explained. "Latin America is setting up its renewable energy targets and there is no reason why Chinese companies can't help the region fulfill those targets."
Edwards is co-director of the Climate Development Lab (CDL) at Brown, a think tank that seeks to research and develop cutting-edge strategies to solve the many challenges posed by climate change. Read more about the work of Edwards and fellow IBES scientist J. Timmons Roberts at the CDL website. You can also follow the lab on Twitter at @ClimateDevLab.