The UN Energy and Climate Change Advisory Group Recommends…

May 2, 2010

 Dear Friends. This is my last article as Lead Author of this blog. Although I plan to continue my research on all issues related to energy in the Americas, I am ready for new challenges and projects. I will make sure to post the occasional article as a guest contributor in this blog space. 

Meanwhile, take good care and keep in touch.  Best, Annette.

On Wednesday I scooted out to New York to attend the meeting/release of the report/recommendations put forth by the UN Secretary General Energy and Climate Change Advisory Group. The gist of their mandate is to help the UN system understand and act on the nexus between energy and environment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Another chapter on the Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas

April 29, 2010

While the world watched with empathy the tragedy that struck Poland and reacted to the fallout from the billowing smoke coming out of the unpronounceable volcano in Iceland, another chapter in President Obama’s Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) was written earlier this month in Washington. At its essence, ECPA was supposed to reconfigure US relations in the hemisphere – with energy at the start. Read the rest of this entry »


Secretary Clinton Announces New Energy Partnerships

April 16, 2010

Remarks made by Secretary Clinton yesterday at the InterAmerican Development Bank on the occasion of the preparatory meetings of the Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas. Video is also available.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you very much, Luis Alberto, and to everyone here at IDB. Thank you for hosting this important gathering. And I am delighted to see so many friends in the audience representing not only the important work that we talk about today, but the partnership across our hemisphere. And I know that Secretary Chu spoke with you this morning and someone’s already told me that he was the funniest physicist you’ve ever heard from. (Laughter.) And I have to agree, probably the funniest Nobel Prize Laureate as well. Read the rest of this entry »


Brazilian Senate approves Venezuela in Mercosul

December 20, 2009

This posting is an update on the previous article – Brazil votes: Venezuela as Full Member of Mercosur  and is a guest contribution by Dr. David Fleischer, Emeritus professor of Political Science at the University of Brasília, and editor of Brazil Focus – a weekly political risk newsletter.

On a relatively close vote (35-to-27), on Tuesday evening, 15th Dec., the Brazilian Senate approved the Mercosul protocol for Venezuela’s admission as a full member of Mercosul.  This protocol had already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies.  Although Uruguayan and Argentine legislatures have also approved this protocol, it has yet to be approved by the Paraguayan Congress, and the measure was recently withdrawn from consideration by Pres. Fernando Lugo to avoid its defeat. Read the rest of this entry »


The Costs of Questionable Policies

November 26, 2009

This posting is a guest contribution by Sidney Weintraub, and is published here courtesy of CSIS, Washington, DC where Dr. Weintraub holds the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy .

Read this piece and you will see why I think Sidney Weintraub is among my wisest mentors… after all, who else could bring together the struggles of women in Saudi Arabia and energy issues in the Americas?

Until Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, it was taken for granted that no African-American could become president of the United States. Any great talent in that population group, about 13.5 percent of Americans, was discarded for the top position in the country. The situation has changed, and the United States is surely better for it. Read the rest of this entry »


Brazil votes: Venezuela as Full Member of Mercosur?

October 31, 2009

This posting is a guest contribution by Dr. David Fleischer, Emeritus professor of Political Science at the University of Brasília, and editor of Brazil Focus – a weekly political risk newsletter

After months of “wrangling” in the Brazilian Senate over whether Venezuela should be admitted to full membership in Mercosur, this question advanced in the Senate last week.  The Chamber of Deputies approved this Mercosur protocol last year, but the Senate balked to the point that President Hugo Chávez said that “Brazil’s Senators are ‘lackeys’ of the Bush government”.  As might be expected, this epithet offended the sensibilities of some Senators. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama at the Summit of the Americas : What to do with Venezuela?

April 16, 2009

Christopher Sabatini, Americas Quarterly

On April 17-19, President Barack Obama will travel to Trinidad and Tobago for the fifth Summit of the Americas that will convene all 34 democratically elected heads of state from the hemisphere. To see a U.S. president focus so much attention on the region so early in his administration (in only his third international forum) is historic—and positive. Read the rest of this entry »