López Obrador’s Green TurnBy María Fernanda Barría | Thu, 04/22/2021 - 13:57
President López Obrador presented a video in which the Mexican government wants to show a different approach to its fight against climate change and global warming. “As part of our effort to ensure we do not raise the global temperature, we are going to combine different elements in Mexico's proposal against climate change. The first is not to extract more crude oil than we need to produce our gasoline. Although we have many reserves, we have found three large deposits and we are no longer going to sell crude oil. We are going to process all our raw material in Mexico and we are going to stop buying gasoline abroad.” López Obrador’s statements come just hours before the Environment and Climate Change Summit.
The president also referred to the country’s refining goals, which will be lower in the future. “Instead of extracting 3.4MMb/d as before, we will commit to not exceeding 2MMb/d. This operation leaves oil for new generations,” said the president amid a production decline context. PEMEX had set a target of 866Mb/d for 2020. However, it was only able to extract 686Mb/d.
The Ministry of Energy (SENER) had said Mexico will not meet its goal of clean electricity generation by 2024 but will reach it in 2025 thanks to the efforts that, according to López Obrador, the government will make to grow hydroelectric generation. “We are going to invest in hydroelectric plants that were built many years ago in Mexico. We will change those turbines to produce more energy with the same water. The production of electricity with water is the cleanest there is and the cheapest,” López Obrador insisted.
These plans, however, have failed to satisfy environmental organizations, which continue to see Mexico's efforts as insufficient. “Mexico’s lack of ambition in its new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) targets is a setback in supporting renewable energy. Its response to the pandemic has put the country's emissions in a worrying situation. The decision to favor fossil fuel generation over renewables puts Mexico on a path that is inconsistent with the actions it needs to take to respect and contribute to the Paris Agreement,” said Climate Action Tracker.
As previously reported by MBN, López Obrador had already addressed environmental concerns through the ‘Sembrando Vida’ program, which he hopes will regulate migration to the US while reforesting the country's southern jungles. However, critics point out that the president’s agenda opposes that of his US counterpart.