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French President Emmanuel Macron and Bolivian President Evo Morales at the One Planet Summit in December 2017. Photo: Christophe Archambault/AFP via Getty Images

Latin America may be taking more concrete steps to meet Paris Agreement targets than any other region, according to a new report from the Atlantic Council.

Why it matters: Ahead of the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), when countries will check in on their national plans to implement the Paris Agreement, Latin America has demonstrated how smart policy and government support can lower fuel costs and emissions. Energy solutions developed there could be showcased at COP24 for other developing countries to emulate.

Latin America's largest emitters have pursued a number of effective emission-reduction strategies, including reducing energy subsidies, redesigning dated tariff systems, liberalizing power markets, creating national energy efficiency initiatives and building liquified natural gas (LNG) import infrastructure to back up hydro and renewable power.

Yes, but: Central America and the Caribbean lag further behind. Central America needs more support for integrating national electricity grids, targeting subsidies and adopting a regional approach to LNG imports. The Caribbean needs credit, help preparing modern power purchase agreements and financing options for distributed power systems.

The bottom line: Even as the U.S. seeks to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the U.S. can still help Central America and the Caribbean meet their own climate targets by fast-tracking LNG exports, training regulators on tariff design and system integration and using its vote in multilateral development banks to provide the region with credit support and financing.

David L. Goldwyn is chairman of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center Advisory Board and a former special envoy for international energy at the State Department.

Go deeper

Senate Dems receive max donations from Nord Stream 2 lobbyist

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A major Democratic donor and Nord Stream 2 lobbyist has made maximum campaign contributions this year to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and vulnerable Senate Democrats, campaign finance records show.

Why it matters: If pressure from the White House to vote against reimposing sanctions on the Russia-backed natural gas pipeline weren't enough, Democrats who back such legislation also will be at loggerheads with one of their party's top fundraisers.

McConnell: No legislative agenda for 2022 midterms

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Mitch McConnell has told colleagues and donors Senate Republicans won't release a legislative agenda before next year's midterms, according to people who've attended private meetings with the minority leader.

Why it matters: Every midterm cycle, there are Republican donors and operatives who argue the party should release a positive, pro-active governing outline around which candidates can rally. McConnell adamantly rejects this idea, preferring to skewer Democrats for their perceived failures.

1 hour ago - World

COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming

Recreated from Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

South Africa alerted the world to the Omicron variant. Now data out of South Africa may serve as a warning of what we're facing.

Driving the news: South Africa recorded 11,535 new cases Thursday with 22.4% of tests coming back positive — up from an average of about 300 new cases, with a 2% test positivity rate 10 days earlier. The country's top public health officials expect that exponential rise to continue as Omicron rapidly becomes the dominant variant.