Germany-Latin America: Strategic Alliance for a Global Energy Transition Policy

KAS & IASS Side Event to the 4th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue

Also available in Español, Português

On April 17th and 18th Germany hosted the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2018, the largest Dialogue ever with more than 2,000 participants from 95 countries, 43 ministers and state secretaries and 120 international speakers. On April 16th, KAS & IASS organized an official Side Event to BETD, with a special focus on the German-Latin American Strategic Alliance for a Global Energy Transition Policy.

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Andrea Heins, Abteilungsleiterin für Energieeffizienz im Ministerium für Energie und Minen in Argentinien.

Andrea Heins, Undersecretary of Energy Saving and Efficiency of the Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Argentine Republic

The driving question of this workshop, as highlighted by Frank Priess, Deputy Department Head of the Department European and International Cooperation of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in his welcome words, is how Germany and specific Latin American countries could work together towards a global energy transition. The current context is promising, since Germany has already established bilateral cooperation agreements with Brazil and Mexico in climate and energy fields. Moreover, Argentinian G20 presidency following Germany is an opportunity to shape the energy agenda in advancing renewables.

Prof. Dr. Ortwin Renn, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), our partner in this project, complemented the opening ceremony by calling attention to the need to implement the Paris Agreement and addressing the challenges connecting social, ecological and economic aspects of climate change. The co-benefits of a global energy transition have a role to play in tackling these issues.

But there is not only one way to perform energy transition. Andrea Heins, Undersecretary of Energy Saving and Efficiency of the Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Argentine Republic emphasized that each G20 member can follow its own path towards a cleaner, more flexible and transparent energy future. That is why transitionS - in the plural - is the most appropriate way to approach the topic, taking into account each member´s unique energy mix, different geographies, culture and stages of development.

Additionally, Ms. Heins defended that energy efficiency and renewable have to be discussed together. However, although renewable energy continues its promising path, with shrinking costs, efficiency faces the challenge of being invisible. No one can put a face or present an appealing picture of energy efficiency. That is why in the Argentinian Efficient Scenario @ 2030, education and community awareness initiatives play a leading role.

Following the keynote, Franziska Tröger of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Prem Zalzman, Director of Innovation for Sustainable Development of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Argentina Republic, Suzana Kahn, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change and Member of the IPCC in Brazil and Pablo Necoechea, Sustainability Manager at Mexican Televisa and KAS/EUCERS fellow engaged in a open discussion on the German-Latin American energy transition dialogue. The participants agreed that energy is a matter connecting all countries, and energy transition is a key factor to achieve NDC goals.

The instruments to implement their national transitions, however, are various. Internalization of carbon costs is one of them, as well as investments in biomass and energy technology diffusion. All of them need to have the common goal of reducing GHG emissions at the lowest possible cost to economies. Mexican energy reform, for example, chose to stop the 75 years of PEMEX monopoly, and opened the energy sector to the market and implemented green energy certificates. Brazil, on the other hand, has been very successful with solar and wind auctions, offering important lessons and best practices to the German Energiewende.

An important question raised in the Q&A session was regarding the dialogue between Latin American countries themselves. Although there are regional integration mechanisms such as the Mercosur, Unasur and energy focused agencies such as OLADE, it became clear that the dialogue takes a more bilateral than a regional form, with examples such as the Brazilian natural gas integration with Bolivia, or the bilateral hydroelectric with Paraguay.

Finally, participants left the event with a wish list concerning the energy transition with an eye in the future. A common wish was that climate protection should be the focus at the center of the energy discussion, and countries need to increase their ambitious in achieving their NDC targets in the following years.


Karina Marzano Franco

Publication series

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Berlin, April 18, 2018

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Karina Marzano Franco

Project Manager

Karina Marzano Franco
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