Mexico, along with other countries in Latin America, is a major producer of critical minerals for the clean energy transition and sustainable infrastructure, giving it considerable potential to expand the minerals it supplies to India, which is seeking to diversify its portfolio of energy suppliers.
India’s soaring population growth and fast economic development turned the country into the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG). However, India has set an ambitious goal to reduce its carbon footprint by the year 2070 and to meet 50% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources by 2030. As a result, the policymakers of the country have shifted their focus to the diversification of the energy supply chain toward components required to build renewable energy projects.
India's focus on a cost-effective and risk-proof scale-up of clean energy through diversified supply chains and distributive expansion of manufacturing base is a major effort toward achieving the goal of a sustainable and clean energy future, a point emphasized by Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Furthermore, Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary, the Ministry of Mines, stated that the majority of critical mineral reserves are in 15 countries.
Mexico can capitalize on this potential and strengthen its bilateral ties with India by exporting lithium, copper and other critical minerals for the clean energy transition and its required infrastructure. Federico Salas Lotfe, Mexico’s Ambassador to India, stated that both India and Mexico have launched studies to explore the potential for a free-trade agreement (FTA). In addition, he encouraged connecting entrepreneurs from both countries to unveil the opportunities in research on the uses of lithium.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), Latin America's significant share of global copper production and reserves, coupled with its untapped potential and increasing exploration expenditure, highlights the region's crucial role in the global transition towards clean energy. The region accounts for 40% of the world’s copper production, led by Chile at 27%, Peru at 10%, and Mexico at 3%. Copper is a vital component of many clean energy technologies, including solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles, making its production and availability essential for the widespread adoption of these technologies.