David L. Goldwyn

  • Latin America: On Target for COP24?

    pdfRead the Publication (PDF)

    As signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement gear up for the upcoming COP24 meetings in Katowice, Poland in December 2018, Latin America has emerged as a global leader in energy modernization and climate change management. In a new report, Latin America: On Target for COP 24?, David Goldwyn, chairman of the Atlantic Council Energy Advisory Group and senior fellow at the Adrianne Arsht Latin America Center, and Goldwyn Global Strategies Associate Andrea Clabough examine the progress Latin America has made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the key challenges that remain. The authors focus on three sub-regions within Latin America, the Southern Cone, Central America, and the Caribbean, and assess the varying levels of progress made by each region toward the goals outlined in countries’ respective commitments to reduce emissions. Larger Latin American economies, including Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico, have been particularly successful in incentivizing renewable energy generation and accelerating the shift from diesel to natural gas, chiefly by using powerful policy tools such as net metering, modernized power purchase agreements, reduction in energy consumption subsidies, and carbon pricing.

    Read More
  • Central America: Building A Gas Market

    The Atlantic Council, in partnership with the Department of State’s Energy Resources Bureau (ENR), hosted a premier group of Central American energy ministers, US and Mexican energy policymakers, and private sector representatives for a Central American senior-level natural gas policy and investment roundtable on April 16, 2018. The roundtable featured a candid discussion of how natural gas can help achieve the energy security goals of Central American governments and how the region can support its burgeoning natural gas markets during a period of tremendous change for gas markets globally.

    The State Department press release is available here, and the full event webcast is available here.

    While the discussion was wide-ranging, there were four key takeaways worth highlighting:

    Read More
  • Mexico’s Presidential Election: Energy Reforms at Risk

    Mexico’s historic and successful energy reforms are at risk in its upcoming Presidential elections. The leading candidate for the Presidency, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, referred to as AMLO, of the Morena party, has recently doubled down on his critiques of the reforms. He has pledged to review existing oil contracts, indicated he would require national oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) to refurbish six and construct two new oil refineries, and demanded that the current administration suspend the next two bid rounds if he wins the election. He has also committed to end oil exports by the middle of his term (approximately early 2022), in theory to maximize the value of Mexico’s natural resources for the state.

    While strident, AMLO’s rhetoric has often been dismissed as campaign talk.

    Read More
  • Goldwyn Quoted in New York Times on Lower Oil Prices


    Read More
  • What the G20 Summit Means for Energy and Climate

    News coming out of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7 and 8 focused on the predictable and predetermined US refusal to join the consensus on the Paris Agreement. Beyond the headlines, the more important takeaways may be that the US position actually strengthened international climate consensus, the international position on the role of natural gas in energy transition is maturing, and the contours of a US policy on energy and climate have begun to emerge. 

    These three reflections are worth considering.

    Read More
  • Trump's 'Huge Mistake'

    US President Donald J. Trump’s decision to take the United States out of a global agreement that seeks to limit the damage caused by climate change is “shortsighted and reckless,” a “huge mistake,” and cedes US energy leadership to China and Europe, according to Atlantic Council analysts.

    “The president’s decision to withdraw from Paris is a huge mistake. There is no upside,” said Richard Morningstar, founding director and chairman of the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. 

    “This decision will make it more difficult to work with our friends and allies on a whole host of critical foreign policy and national security issues. It will make it more difficult for our companies to work in many countries,” he added.

    Trump announced his decision at the White House on June 1.

    Read More
  • Does the Road to Energy Dominance Run Through Paris?

    US President Donald J. Trump’s administration aims to position the United States for “energy dominance” as a leading exporter of oil and gas. So far, this vision of US energy dominance has assumed that policies favoring reduced emissions are a hindrance rather than an opportunity.  In fact, the nation’s ability to expand production and compete in the burgeoning global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, which faces excess supply and weak demand in the near term, may depend on the United States staying in the Paris climate agreement and using its voice to support the role of natural gas in decarbonization.

    Ratified in 2016, the Paris Agreement aggregates the national commitments of 195 countries to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources. While public attention (and Green Climate Fund resources) have focused on the increased role for renewable energy in developing countries, the reality is that natural gas plays a major role in reducing GHG emissions and meeting new demand for electricity. It is no coincidence that introduction of natural gas has been the major source of emissions reduction in the United States and plays a similar role in Mexico.

    Read More
  • 'Mexico Has Options'

    Energy sector reform will continue with or without the United States, said former Mexican official

    Though recent political tensions threaten the stability of US-Mexico relations, Mexico’s ongoing energy sector reform will continue without US partnership, if necessary, according to Mexico’s former deputy secretary of energy.

    “Mexico’s energy reform does not depend on the United States,” Lourdes Melgar, who now serves at the Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies, said at the Atlantic Council on March 16. “If the United States does not want to have business with Mexico,” Melgar cautioned, “I think they’re missing the picture, because Mexico has options.”

    Read More
  • Haste Makes Waste: Why President Trump’s Executive Actions May Delay Oil Pipelines and Permits

    US President Donald J. Trump’s new actions intended to expedite approval of energy and infrastructure projects were hailed by industry groups and decried by environmentalists.   If those actions are implemented in ways that cut regulatory or procedural corners, they likely will slow down infrastructure development by increasing the risk of successful court challenges and trade disputes.

    If the agencies reviewing Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines do not take the time to provide justifications for their recent decisions on those projects—influenced by Trump—courts may invalidate pipeline approvals. Implementing explicit local content requirements for steel in pipelines could embroil the United States in trade disputes.  Further, the administration’s memorandum to expedite federal infrastructure review and permitting creates uncertainty about the application of a more carefully thought out process Congress established in 2015. 

    Read More
  • The Outlook for Energy Under a Trump Administration

    pdfRead the Publication
    Oil, gas, and renewable energy markets will face high levels of uncertainty and potentially extreme volatility under a Trump administration in 2017. Some of these uncertainties flow from questions about the new administration’s yet-undefined policies on energy production, trade, and climate policy. Others flow from the basket of national security risks that a new US President was destined to inherit. 

     

    Read More