Gustavo Petro doesn’t just want to transform his own country; he wants to change the world. The new leader of Colombia, who took office last August, is targeting what he calls his nation’s “economy of death.” That means pivoting away from oil, natural gas, coal, and narcotics toward more sustainable economic activities. Given that oil and coal make up half his country’s exports—and Colombia is the world’s leading cocaine producer—that’s not going to be easy.
Still, if Colombia were to undertake such a pivot, it would prove to other countries similarly addicted to such powerful substances—including the United States—that radical change is possible. With the latest news that the international community will almost certainly fall short of its carbon reduction target for 2030, Colombia’s pathbreaking detox effort has become more urgent and significant than ever.
Not surprisingly, Petro and Francia Marquez, his environmentalist vice president, have encountered significant resistance to their plans, even from within their own ranks. Although they immediately declared a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling as part of a bid to phase out the country’s fossil-fuel industry, their own finance and energy ministries, fearing the moratorium’s effect on the economy, refused to rule out such future contracts. …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies