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April 12, 2023

Overcoming Challenges to Fight Climate Change in Latin America

Event Series: Conferences

Showing the Overcoming Challenges to Fight Climate Change in Latin America Video

Climate change threatens the social, political, and economic fabric of societies across the Western Hemisphere. The Latin America and Caribbean region is particularly vulnerable to climate volatility such as droughts, floods, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels. Leaders across the globe must come together to create frameworks for climate financing to foster climate adaptation and mitigation in development strategies. Policies should address the need and urgency of creating comprehensive climate action plans, redirecting public and private spending, as well as foreign investment, to projects that create more resilient infrastructure, provide opportunities for green growth, and aid in the transition to renewable energy sources.

The Georgetown Americas Institute and Eurasia Group hosted a conference, co-sponsored by Earth Commons and the Global Human Development Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and Sempra, that brought together different stakeholders such as academics, policymakers, and business leaders from the Latin America and Caribbean region and the United States to discuss recent trends on climate change policy and sustainability, the impact on the region, and how countries can contribute to this existential challenge facing humanity.

This conference took place in-person and streamed via YouTube.  Read the event summary here.

This conference was sponsored by the Georgetown Americas Institute and Eurasia Group, and co-sponsored by the Earth Commons and the Global Human Development Program at the  Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Sempra.


1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EDT | Registration

1:30 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. EDT | Introductions and Welcoming Remarks

Daniel Kerner, Eurasia Group

Alejandro Werner, Georgetown Americas Institute 

1:35 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EDT | Opening Keynote Remarks

Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. EDT| ESG Financing: Perspectives from Different Sectors

Azucena Arbeleche, Minister of Finance, Uruguay

Hilen Meirovich, Head of Climate Change, Advisory Services Division, IDB Invest

Lupin Rahman, Executive Vice President, PIMCO

Dan Zelikow, Chair of the Governing Board of J.P. Morgan Development Finance Institution

Alejandro Werner (moderator), Georgetown Americas Institute

3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EDT | Coffee Break

3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EDT | Sector Trends for Climate Change Mitigation

Sebastian Carranza, Director of Climate Change and Risk Management, Ministry of Environment, Colombia

Tania Ortiz Mena (virtual), President for Mexico, Sempra Infrastructure

Alejandra Vazquez, Global VP of Sustainability, Grupo Bimbo

Anna Wellenstein, Regional Director for LAC, Sustainable Practice Group,  World Bank

Shari Friedman (moderator), Managing Director, Climate and Sustainability, Eurasia Group

5:00 p.m. - 5:10 p.m. EDT | Closing Remarks

Alejandro Werner, Georgetown Americas Institute 


Photo of The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley

The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley

The Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P., became Barbados' eighth and first female prime minister on May 25, 2018. Prime Minister Mottley was elected to the Parliament of Barbados in September 1994 as part of the new Barbados Labour Party Government. Prior to that, she served as one of two opposition senators between 1991 and 1994. She later served as attorney general and deputy prime minister of Barbados from 2001 to 2008.

Photo of Azucena Arbeleche

Azucena Arbeleche

Azucena Arbeleche has been the minister of the economy and finance of Uruguay since March 1, 2020. Before that, she was an independent consultant in debt management issues advising governments and institutions abroad. From 2014 to 2019, she was the lead economic advisor to the National Party in Uruguay and member of the board of the Centro de Estudios del Partido Nacional. She was director of the Debt Management Unit (DMU) in the Ministry of Finance in Uruguay from January 2011 until July 2014.

Photo of Sebastián Carranza

Sebastián Carranza

Sebastian Carranza is responsible for developing the technical and operational bases for climate change management throughout multiple sectors and territories, guiding biodiversity and ecosystem services vulnerability assessments. Mr. Carranza has over fifteen years of experience in energy and sustainable development, life cycle assessment studies, the effectiveness of energy sources, sustainable design, renewable energy, and water management.

Photo of Shari Friedman

Shari Friedman

Shari Friedman leads Eurasia Group’s Climate and Sustainability practice, focusing on environmental and social policies and trends affecting energy companies, industrial production, retail, supply chains, technology companies, agribusiness, and financial institutions. Shari and the teamwork across regions and sectors to help clients understand the evolving policies and how they will affect client’s business today and in the future.

Photo of Daniel Kerner

Daniel Kerner

Daniel Kerner is head of Eurasia Group's Latin America practice, helping clients make sense of the region's turbulent politics. He leads the firm's coverage of Argentina and Mexico, identifies region-wide trends, and analyzes how a changing global political environment will affect the region.

Photo de Hilen Meirovich

Hilen Meirovich

Hilen Meirovich is Head of Climate Change, Advisory Services Division at Inter-American Development Bank Invest, which she joined in 2017. She is responsible for developing innovative strategies and implementing solutions to reduce the impact of climate change. She has extensive experience in creating favorable conditions for environmentally-friendly investments and leveraging international climate funds that help channel private investment to the region.

Photo of Tania Ortiz Mena

Tania Ortiz Mena

Tania Ortiz Mena has been president of Mexico for Sempra Infrastructure since November 2021, leading the company’s activities related to clean power generation, natural gas transportation and distribution, and fuel storage facilities. Ortiz has extensive experience in energy and foreign policy, being a member of the boards of multiple associations, including the Mexican Natural Gas Association. From 2015 to 2018, she was a member of the advisory board of Mexico’s Energy Regulatory Commission.

Photo of Lupin Rahman

Lupin Rahman

Lupin Rahman is an executive vice president and portfolio manager in the New York office of PIMCO Investment Management. She oversees PIMCO's sovereign credit investing on the emerging markets (EM) portfolio management team and is responsible for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration across PIMCO's investment strategies. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2008, she spent five years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an emerging markets macroeconomist.

Photo of Alejandra Vazquez

Alejandra Vazquez

Alejandra Vazquez is the global VP of Sustainability at Grupo Bimbo. She has over 22 years of experience in Grupo Bimbo, where she has held different positions and reached great achievements. She started her career in the Food Safety area and most of her professional experience was in the Sustainability area, achieving important improvements in sustainability management processes, water management, energy efficiency, waste management and regulations. Vazquez has the challenge of transforming the company to become sustainable by design.

Photo of Anna Wellenstein

Anna Wellenstein

Anna Wellenstein is responsible for the World Bank’s agriculture, climate, disaster risk management, environment, land, social, urban, and water portfolios in the region. With over 20 years of experience in urban development and infrastructure, she has led efforts to design and finance investments, facilitate policy reforms, and build capacity to help developing countries reduce poverty and boost equity.

Photo of Alejandro Werner

Alejandro Werner

Alejandro Werner is the founding director of the Georgetown Americas Institute and a non-resident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute. He recently completed almost nine years as director of the Western Hemisphere Department at the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that appointment, he was undersecretary of finance and public credit in Mexico’s Finance Ministry and held several positions in that ministry and the Central Bank.

Photo of Dan Zelikow

Dan Zelikow

Dan Zelikow is chair of the Governing Board of J.P. Morgan Development Finance Institution where leads a team that manages J.P. Morgan's business with public sector clients, such as central banks, sovereign wealth funds, public pensions, governments and their agencies, and international institutions. From 2015–2022, he co-founded and co-headed a global team responsible for providing financing, structuring and advisory services to the firm’s clients involved in sponsoring and investing in infrastructure around the world.