B N Americas: Latin America is making little progress in measures to improve energy efficiency compared to the rest of the world, according to Jose Samaniego, chief of sustainable development and human settlements for the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac).“You have China, India and the OECD countries all increasing energy efficiency and decreasing energy intensity. In Latin America it is almost flat. Carbon intensity in some of the countries has been increasing,” Samaniego said.
Samaniego said there are several structural impediments to making energy efficiency strides in Latin America. The first is subsidies for things such as freight and electricity consumption. In a similar vein, there is a favorable tax regime for energy in general and specifically fossil fuels, which were adopted in reaction to macroeconomic crises as a means to control inflation.
“Mexico is a case in point. It is very bad. It is possibly the lowest tax burden on energy in the whole of Latin America,” Samaniego said. Read more…..