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China’s Investments and Land Use in Latin America

Núñez, M. (2022). China’s Investments and Land Use in Latin America. Research Publications (No. 49). https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/jgi_research/49/

China’s Investments and Land Use in Latin America

Increased demand by China for commodities has impacted natural resources and local people in Latin America, at a time when climate change has created an urgency for sustainable practices. This report aims to contribute to a nuanced view of Chinese major investments and trade, analyzing the soy, copper, and beef industries. In many cases, it shows how unsustainability is not the result of the practices of Chinese companies but rather the nature of the resource, local legal frameworks, or global industry standards. Latin America needs to revise its practices and prioritize efficient usage of land, water, minerals and waste residuals if it is to evolve its relations with China. This report recognizes the challenges and opportunities in China–Latin America relations with a view to the future. China has become an important ally in the adoption of renewable technologies in Latin America, contributing to climate change mitigation objectives. Latin American countries must devise development plans for these industries and not rely solely on voluntary sustainability standards adopted by the private sector to preserve Latin America’s vulnerable ecosystems in light of climate change.

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