The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) urged its member states to harness renewable energy resources, revealing that 16 million people in the region live without electricity.
While power grids cover 97% of the population, energy generation is not keeping pace with the demand. In addition, with rising inflation, more and more households are unable to pay their electricity bills.
Residents of poor communities are the most affected by power outages, stated the UN agency, warning that the energy crisis might widen the gulf between the rich and poor, leading to higher crime rates in the years to come.
#LatinAmerica and the #Caribbean must urgently make progress on the #energytransition ⚡️with greater production of renewable #energy, universalizing access to energy and increasing energy efficiency: @IEA’s #WEO2023 report workshop at #ECLAC.
More 🔗https://t.co/G3TcYpehr1 pic.twitter.com/1UlyFNKwqx
— ECLAC (@eclac_un) March 17, 2023
Officials and experts recently gathered in the Chilean capital, Santiago, to discuss the energy crisis. They expressed displeasure with political leaders, pointing that even countries that import fossil fuels are delaying the transition to renewable energy.
Latin America has plenty of opportunities to generate renewable energy thanks to its rich natural resources, such as deep waterfalls and warm climate.
Energy experts want regional governments to spend at least 2% of their GDP on energy and water infrastructure projects. They estimate that new electricity projects alone could create 70,000 jobs a year.
“The economic and social dimensions are directly related to lack of access to energy services or affordability problems,” ECLAC noted in one of the recent research studies on energy transition.