Environmental NGOs and renewable energy companies will file an amparo to annul CRE’s adjustments to clean energy regulations, as they qualify this agreement as a low blow to legitimate efforts to decarbonize the electricity sector in Mexico. In 2020 and 2021, civil associations managed to backtrack two similar agreements under the argument of the human right to health.
On May 24, 2023, CRE issued an agreement through which it categorizes natural gas generation in combined-cycle power plants as fuel-free energy, thus allowing its approval for Clean Energy Certificates (CELs). As reported by MBN, these adjustments to clean energy legislation triggered concerns within the Mexican Solar Energy Association (ASOLMEX) and the Mexican Wind Energy Association (AMDEE), who raised objections claiming that these modifications may not accurately reflect the true carbon footprint associated with such generation methods.
"The agreement approved by CRE and published in the DOF artificially increases the amount of clean energy in the electrical system by considering generation with natural gas in combined-cycle plants as fuel-free energy, which therefore makes it creditor to CELs," argued the associations. Additionally, they pointed out that these measures violate the institutional framework that organizes and conducts greenhouse gas mitigation efforts, aimed at enabling the State to guarantee a healthy environment for its citizens.
NGOs including the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), Greenpeace Mexico, Mexico Climate Initiative (ICM) and Nuestro Futuro also warned about the effects of this agreement on Mexico’s energy transition and demanded the federal government to reverse the measures taken by the commission. "Through this agreement, CRE modifies the definition of what is considered clean energy by including highly polluting processes and fuels which pose risks to the health of the Mexican population and contribute to global warming,” reads a joint statement by the organizations.
The civil organizations listed a series of effects that CREs agreement would unleash. First, they pointed out that it would generate misinformation about Mexico’s real progress on renewable energy. Secondly, they explained that it will not add a single MW of renewable energy capacity to the electricity grid nor will it reduce CO2 emissions beyond the measures that had already been considered to move forward with meeting Mexico’s clean energy targets. Lastly, they highlighted that these actions enhance the bad reputation of President López Obrador and by extent that of the country, among the clean energy community.
"This violates the human right to a healthy environment in terms of a safe, habitable and sustainable climate, as well as many other fundamental rights regarding health, food, water and a dignified life," stressed the NGOs. In 2020 and 2021, the civil associations set the precedent of achieving the suspension of two agreements through which CENACE and SENER intended to change the order of dispatch of electricity to benefit CFE’s fossil fuel-dependent energy production, under the argument of the human right to health.