During the conference, I am trying to get out of my comfort zone (clean air), and I have been participating in multiple events attempting to broaden my knowledge and get a better understanding of the different implications of climate change. For example, yesterday I went to various events regarding the impacts of climate change on health, renewable energy, food and agriculture. However, today one of the most wonderful talks that I have been able to relate to was Renewable Energy Access to Latin America. Due to my Hispanic/Latin Heritage, it was a must that I attend, also it was given in Spanish (my native language).
In the discussion of Renewable Energy in developing countries, we always use African countries as an examples, when in fact we have some other countries within our own hemisphere. In Latin America, the differences in social classes are very high. There are still people that can't satisfy basic necessities, and there are also people that don’t know the electricity as we know it, like the indigenous community. There is too much power in too few hands, avoiding the competitiveness. So combating the climate change by using renewable energy via energetic interconnection (like a spider web), we are also trying to fight poverty.
Latin America has an enormous dependence on petroleum, when it is a region rich in natural and renewable resources. Currently in South America, they use hydropower as a renewable type of energy. However, recently its production had been decreasing due to the effects of climate change on water resources. Therefore, they started looking for some other ideas to combine, to prevent failure if in the future a different type does not work.
We don’t only need to reduce the carbon footprint, but also our ecological footprint. The solutions and alternative exist in a long-term, clean, and cost-effective way, but the implementation and influence the policymakers is still a challenge. Even though politics in the whole American Continents have been discouraging, public policies and politics overall need to be more seriously committed to these issues. Therefore, we as the young people need to be empowered, inclusive, open minded, and involved in these kinds of topics to do not repeat the same mistakes from the past.