Mexico Will Not Reach Climate Change Goals on TimeBy Eliza Galeana | Thu, 09/08/2022 - 19:23
In 2015, with the publication of the Energy Transition Law, the federal government committed to meet at least 35 percent of the energy demand from clean energy sources by 2024. Nonetheless, due to the decisions taken by the current administration, achieving this in the next two years seems impossible.
Adrián Fernández, Director of Mexico’s Climate Initiative, explained that President López Obrador’s proposed reforms to energy regulation led to a crusade against private investment indirectly affecting renewable power plants. "Renewable energy was a collateral damage from the president’s war against the private sector. This government made sure to put up all the obstacles so that the renewable networks would not move forward," said Fernandez in an interview with Expansion.
Mexico’s International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) states the new LIE not only affects the energy sector but violates the rights of every Mexican citizen to enjoy a healthy environment and the benefits of free competition. According to ICC, the changes made to the LIE, go against the rest of the world, affecting potential wind and solar power plants, causing market uncertainty and disincentivizing new investments, while favoring CFE’s power plants, which have higher costs and use conventional polluting technologies.
This also implies a violation to Mexico’s international commitments in the fight against climate change, which include minimizing the causes of climate change, mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and ensuring all parties a right to achieve sustainable development.
According to the National Development Program for the Electricity System (PRODESEN), the incapability to reach these objectives is not new, since the federal government has failed to meet all previous short and long-term goals set out in the Energy Transition Law. In 2018, the country was supposed to reach 25 percent clean-energy generation and 30 percent by 2021. However, the clean-energy production rate was 22.5 percent in 2018 and 29.5 percent in 2021, falling short 2.5 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
Currently, 86.9 percent of power plants are based on fossil fuels and, according to the latest data from SENER, new infrastructure will still be based on natural gas and other fossil fuels. It will not be until 2026 that new wind and solar plants will be considered as part of the country’s strategic projects.