According to Jorge Rickards, Director of WWF Mexico, urban centers are key for the creation of solutions and environmental policies to address climate change given they are responsible for 70% of CO2 emissions globally. Mexico City‘s Program for Climate Action 2020-2026 is a strong example of courses of action cities can take to improve reforestation, air quality, river cleanliness, mobility, and transportation.
The second Forum of Local Authorities of the Americas for the Environment took place on August 16th to achieve a New Green Agreement for capital cities. Informed by developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental leaders from Mexico City and 34 other capital cities across Latin America came together to develop this new deal. The agreement includes commitments from capital cities to drive greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction efforts in order to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This means balancing the amount of CO2 that human activities produce with carbon that is removed from the atmosphere (mainly natural sources) to avoid global temperature increases above 1.5 °C degrees.
A push for renewable energy
Several national and international businesses committed to sustainability have voiced their concern with the recent changes to Mexico’s energy regulations and the impacts they will have on the supply of renewable energy in the country. According to Mayer Brown, contrary to the international trend that aims to support renewable energy, the current administration’s policy is to advance interests and market share of the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission. The measures range from indicating that the dispatch of wind and solar electric generation be subordinated to thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants to suspension of testing for renewable generation projects. This adds up to the measures taken during 2019 to halt the issuing of new bids for renewable energy in the country which was originally thought to be a temporary measure.
Mexico had established in its Energy Transition Law that 35% of energy generation should come from clean sources by 2024 and under the Paris Agreement also achieve zero net emissions by 2050. For more information on Energy Reform concerning renewables please see post: https://www.climatescorecard.org/2020/04/mexican-administration-plans-to-revamp-the-oil-industry-and-prioritize-modernizing-existing-power-plants/)
These businesses employ approximately 72,000 people and consume about 18,117 GWh per year—equivalent to more than 5% of Mexico’s electrical consumption. They have also signed international agreements and commitments to acquire renewable energy and reduce GHG emissions in the country. Currently there is no alternative to the supply of renewable energies from the public sector. The investments in solar and wind, together with the open access, allows companies to increase competitiveness by reducing operational costs. This reduction in costs and increases competitiveness allows them to preserve and create employment and counteract the negative impacts of the 4.6% -8.8% GDP contraction in Mexico according to Banxico.
Teaching the new generations how to fight climate change
Last June, a new initiative was presented to the Mexican Congress that aims to include climate change education in the country’s national school curriculum. The Mexican senator Clemente Castañeda Hoeflich worked together with Luis Ramirez, Director of Sin Planet B (No Planet B), on a proposal to strengthen the curricula on environmental protection and climate change in schools. The proposal hopes to amend the General Education Law by extending education’s contribution to sustainable development and environmental protection. The proposed curriculum will promote behaviors and attitudes related to caring for the environment and provide students with the knowledge to assess environmental dilemmas and problems.
Activity Rating: *** Right Direction
- Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources- Victor Manuel Toledo
Telephone: 54900900 Ext. 12000/12076/12001
Address: Ejercito Nacional 223,
Col. Anáhuac, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo,
Ciudad de México, México,
- Secretary of Education – Esteban Moctezuma Barragán
Telephone: +(55) 36017599
Address: República de Argentina #28, Centro Histórico, Ciudad de México. C.P. 06020
- WWF – Capitales de América hacia la neutralidad climática
- Declaracion de apoyo de las empresas a las energias renovables
- In Mexico, fighting climate change could soon begin in the classroom
- Policy shift to impact renewable energy projects in Mexico
- Mexican renewable energy affected by new measures
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Mexico Country Manager Patricia Prat.