Climate Policy Likely to be a Priority in the Mexican 2024 Elections

The following post describes the implications for climate policies and programs of the 2024 elections in Mexico, where the most critical race is the presidential elections. It typically occurs every six years, with the president serving a single six-year term. These elections are crucial because they determine the direction of the country’s governance, including policies on various issues such as climate change.

Claudia Sheinbaum, Xóchitl Gálvez, and Jorge Álvarez Máynez are competing for the presidency. Mexico’s general elections take place on June 2, 2024. The political campaigns for president in Mexico have just begun in the first days of March, so new climate policy pledges to support the recent Climate Agreements that emerged from COP 28 as part of their campaigns have not yet been presented.

Two women lead in polls on the race leading to the vote. A man running for a small third party has no chance of winning. Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City’s former mayor, has a doctorate in energy engineering and a long career in leftist politics. Xóchitl Gálvez is a Businesswoman, senator, and Indigenous with a degree in computer engineering.

Mexico is in the international spotlight as a prime nearshoring destination. The next few years will be pivotal for investors seeking opportunities in Mexico. The country must determine how best to leverage this heightened investor interest. Governing party candidate Claudia Sheinbaum and opposition candidate Xochitl Galvez have pledged to develop more renewable energy to decarbonize the electricity sector. Mexico needs to add 20,000MW of wind and solar capacity by 2030 to reach its emissions reduction targets, according to the Mexican wind energy association AMDEE.

Presidential candidates may prioritize climate in their campaigns, particularly if public opinion and global pressure emphasize its significance. They may introduce new climate policy pledges to appeal to voters concerned about environmental issues.

Mexico is one of only two G20 nations without net zero emission targets, and Climate Action Tracker criticized the country’s prior climate plan for being worse than the one it unveiled at Cop27 last year. Sheinbaum has contributed to publications from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regarding climate change mitigation. She could adopt a different strategy as president and reinforce the presidential candidates’ position towards international collaboration in general and the Paris Agreement. Sheinbaum supported public transportation infrastructure, rooftop solar, and cycling while serving as mayor of Mexico City. As president, she promises to quicken the pace of renewable energy development by investing state funds in solar power facilities and lithium extraction in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.

On the other hand, Gálvez also emphasized the switch to renewable energy in her messages. She promises to break Mexico’s dependence on fossil fuels and pave the road for the commercial sector to offer affordable, sustainable energy. Sheinbaum and Gálvez will fly the flag for renewable energy because they understand its importance, especially for the next generation of investors, businesses, and stakeholders.

Support for presidential candidates may vary across age, race, gender, and geographic groups. Younger voters and urban areas may be more inclined to support candidates with strong climate change policies, while rural areas and specific demographics may prioritize other issues over environmental concerns. Candidates may tailor their messaging to appeal to different demographic groups accordingly.

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Mexico Country Manager Pablo Necoechea Porras.


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