Electromobility Key to Mexico’s Sustainable FutureBy Cas Biekmann | Tue, 02/02/2021 - 11:52
Q: How did you get involved in energy-related issues?
A: Before becoming a senator, I worked for 10 years as an activist and a social entrepreneur. The idea of changing the way we do politics in Mexico attracted me. I got involved and subsequently won a seat in the Senate. Air quality is one of my priorities. I worked in many environmental and urban sustainability projects, as well as on the initiative to decarbonize our planet. When studying initiatives from congressional members, we recognized the intrinsic relationship amongst the energy sector, Mexico’s economic development and the care of the environment.
Q: How are you and the commission working toward Mexico’s sustainable electrification?
A: The future is electric, and this concept is in line with the main goal of reducing carbon emissions around the planet. We have an incredible number of vehicles that are used on a daily basis for transportation and they all run on fossil fuels. The use of fossil fuels impacts our day-to-day lives and survival depends on them. By making smart use of our natural resources, we can explore new businesses and technologies and set the energy transition in full motion. Many countries are forging ahead in this regard and are looking at different ways to generate energy. People are demanding clean energy more than ever.
Electromobility is one of the puzzles we need to solve regarding sustainability for Mexico. Through economic development, we can open doors to improve sustainability, innovate technology and establish better business transactions. This transition can provide a wealth of opportunities for emerging markets. Electromobility is one of these opportunities that is set to benefit Mexico’s economy. In a country marked by inequality, we should also use these tools to solve social issues. In the Senate, we need to generate incentives and turn these opportunities into realities.
Q: What are the characteristics of your electromobility initiative?
A: The initiative goes hand in hand with a national strategy for electric mobility, which has already received attention from previous governments. This means that we are not only creating laws with incentives but working with federal government policies so that laws can be created and followed through. The first law for electromobility in Mexico will have various incentives, especially on its taxation. We think that our general law regarding climate should be changed to incorporate electromobility. From that point onward, we can work on other initiatives from a social standpoint, especially to make electric vehicles more accessible for the general population.
Q: How can the Senate help meet the growing demand for electromobility?
A: This is an emerging market so this notion is new as well. In the past, we did not discuss topics such as air quality being considered a human right and a key factor for socio-economic development. Now, air quality needs to be considered an important factor for a country’s overall competitiveness and quality of life. Mexico has relied on fossil fuels for decades. As a result, there is still no huge demand for electric vehicles.
The good news is that the technology exists and the demand for electric vehicles is growing steadily. There is also a demand for infrastructure to accommodate this. It is the responsibility of the state to continue this national strategy for electromobility. As senators, we need to turn this law into a reality and this can be achieved by having a legislative base and incentives. We can help accelerate the process. A sense of urgency is necessary to increase demand and make our energy transition possible. We do not seek to fight against fossil fuels; however, the time to act for sustainability is now. We need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and lower our carbon emissions so that by 2050, Mexico does not lag behind other countries in terms of competitiveness and climate change.
Q: What more could the Senate and the Energy Commission do to bolster Mexico’s energy transition?
A: The energy transition is already happening. It is important to continue the efforts and join forces with the decision-makers within the government, which consists of creating a visible agenda, finding common ground where we can incentivize, allowing companies to develop and make Mexico an attractive destination for both local and international investment. These initiatives can make Mexico a leader in terms of competitivity in the global energy sector. Social and environmental responsibility are two key points for the future and technology is an important tool that will ensure compliance. Mexico needs to create functional laws. Therefore, we have to work with national strategies and public policies.
Q: What will be the main objectives on the commission’s agenda for 2021?
A: Recent discussions have turned toward PEMEX and oil contracts with private companies. Furthermore, social and environmental impacts from new thermoelectric projects are important. Electromobility remains a main priority for the commission as well.
Indira Kempis has been a Senator since December 2018. She is also a member of the Senate’s Energy Commission.