ECPA Clearinghouse Briefs Latin American Energy Leaders

Monday, July 07, 2014

Energy experts from several Latin American countries had the opportunity to learn about ECPA during their visit to the United States through the U.S. International Visitor Leadership Program.

The program, run by the Department of State, seeks to strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts. During short-term visits to the United States, participants meet with professional counterparts around the country and visit public and private sector organizations related to their field of interest.

“Energy Security in the Western Hemisphere” was the focus of a June 8-21 visit by six energy experts from Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. Their visit took them to several cities around the United States.

The group began its visit in the nation’s capital, where its activities included a briefing by the ECPA Clearinghouse, the coordinating mechanism for the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Senior OAS Energy Specialist and ECPA Clearinghouse Manager Juan Cruz Monticelli, explained the mission and structure of this hemispheric partnership and updated the visitors on key initiatives being carried out around the region. The visitors also had the opportunity to ask questions and share their insights based on energy context in their own countries.

In a candid conversation with the ECPA team, the visitors expressed their shared concern regarding the challenges countries in the region face in diversifying their energy mix—despite abundant natural resources. They pointed to the need for technical training and greater institutional capacity so countries can incorporate alternative, cleaner sources of energy.