Bolivia’s energy transition in harmony with nature: Reality or delusion?

Paola Villavicencio Calzadilla, Romain Mauger

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Shifting away from dominant anthropocentric paradigms, an energy transition based on a non-Western and non-human centred approach is taking shape in Bolivia. The country has adopted ecocentric regulatory instruments that recognise the rights of nature or Mother Earth and provide a solid legal framework for overcoming its fossil fuels-based energy system relying on ecological destructive extractivism. Indeed, this innovative regulatory avenue should enable the emergence of a new energy system that acknowledges the intrinsic value of all living systems and organisms – human and non-human – constituting Mother Earth. Using an ecocentric lens, this chapter critically examines the legal and policy frameworks promoting an energy transition in Bolivia – with a focus on grid-connected electricity generation – in order to determine to what extent they safeguard and protect Mother Earth’s rights and promote what is defined here as an energy transition in harmony with nature. In this context, the El Bala-Chepete hydroelectricity project is used as an illustrative example. The chapter concludes that undertaking an energy transition in harmony with nature is a daunting task that requires not only legal and policy frameworks recognising Mother Earth’s rights, but also that these are consistent and effectively implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDilemmas of Energy Transitions in the Global South
Subtitle of host publicationBalancing Urgency and Justice
EditorsAnkit Kumar, Johanna Höffken, Auke Pols
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780367486457
ISBN (Print)9780367486440
Publication statusPublished - 17-Jun-2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge Explorations in Energy Studies

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