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Events Geopolitics

The Politics and Geopolitics of Latin America’s Energy Transition

Past Event

September 20, 2023

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm edt

Latin America and the Caribbean’s (LAC) clean energy transition faces a unique set of challenges. Home to over 650 million people across 33 countries, and vulnerable to climate shocks, LAC is also one of the most divergent and unequal regions of the world, with over 16 million people without access to electricity. At the same time, LAC is endowed with key natural resources, from oil and gas to renewable energy to critical minerals. Historically, the region has been a major provider of important commodities to the world including food products, grains, minerals, and crude oil. 

LAC’s energy transition is at a crossroads, facing simultaneously the continued effects of the energy crisis, high inflation, and geopolitical reconfigurations. The U.S. and the EU have sought to strengthen their relationships, investments, and partnerships with countries in the region as they reshape their supply chains. The region is also being courted by China, already a key commercial partner to countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru, and a key investor in the energy sector and increasingly in critical minerals. More recently the region has attracted attention given Saudi Arabia’s recent mining stake in Brazil and most notably after the enlargement of BRICS. Additionally, political instability and upcoming Presidential elections in Argentina, Mexico and six other countries have the potential to shape the political leadership of the region in the run up to 2030, a critical timeline to deliver on their climate pledges under the Paris climate agreement. 

 Join the Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP) at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) for a discussion on the recent political and geopolitical developments and their potential impact on LAC’s energy transition, the region’s role in global energy markets, global supply chains and on the critical mining commodities that are necessary for the global clean energy transition.

Diego Rivera Rivota, Research Associate, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA


  • Mauricio Cárdenas, Professor of Professional Practice in Global Leadership at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and Director of the MPA in Global Leadership; Global Senior Research Fellow at Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy; and former Minister of Finance and Energy, Colombia
  • Juan Carlos Jobet, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA; Dean, School of Business, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez; Former Minister of Energy and Mining, Chile
  • Luisa Palacios, Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA; Adjunct Professor at Columbia University SIPA and former Chairwoman, Citgo Petroleum Corporation
  • Brian Winter, Editor-in-chief, Americas Quarterly

This event will be hosted in person in New York City and live-streamed via Zoom.

Advance registration is required. Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation email. The event will be recorded and the video recording will be added to our website following the event.

This event is open to press, and registration is required to attend. For media inquiries or requests for interviews, please contact Natalie Volk ([email protected]).

For more information about the event, please contact [email protected].