Environmental News from the US:
Colombia’s presidential front-runner Gustavo Petro wants, if he wins later this month, to stop all new oil exploration and move his country to a greener future.
That lines him up with Chile’s recently-elected President Gabriel Boric, a Millennial who has also pledged to take a firm stance on tackling climate change.
As Latin America sees a resurgent ‘pink tide’ – with most of the region set to be headed by leftists by the end of the year – the greener hue of these newer leaders contrasts with the old guard “resource nationalists,” who have typically seen tight state control of energy and metals as the best path to economic progress and self-determination.
Marquez, who would be Colombia’s first Afro-Colombian vice president, stressed in an interview that she and Petro would break not only with the country’s conservatives, who have long embraced oil and coal but also with fellow regional leftists like Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, an unapologetic backer of fossil fuels.
“The point is that both the left and the right are fomenting a policy of extractivism when humanity faces the challenge today of transitioning from this extractivist economy to a sustainable economy,” Marquez, 40, told Reuters. “Life isn’t possible without our planet.”
Petro has vowed to freeze new oil and gas exploration, protect water resources, and provide more security for environmental defenders in Colombia, the world’s most dangerous country for such activists.