NGO’s Challenge Mexico's Ruling of Natural Gas as Clean Energy
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NGO’s Challenge Mexico's Ruling of Natural Gas as Clean Energy

Photo by:   Thomas Richter, Unsplash
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Karin Dilge By Karin Dilge | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Mon, 11/20/2023 - 09:30

The organizations Nuestro Futuro AC and Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) are collaborating on a legal challenge to halt Agreement A/018/2023 published by CRE, which aims to categorize natural gas as a clean energy source.

In an interview with Energía A Debate, Nora Cabrera, Director, Nuestro Futuro, mentioned that the legal challenge initiated by both institutions is currently in the evidence submission phase. During this phase, experts from both authorities and civil organizations will present their assessments.

"The resolution is somewhat stalled as something interesting happened in this trial: CRE requested expert opinions on the issue of fossil gas in terms of its role in the energy transition policy. We are waiting for the trial to be fully integrated to then have a first instance ruling, which would be the indirect legal protection, and then proceed to the amparo revision," explained the specialist.

According to Cabrera, the energy transition should move toward renewable energies to achieve carbon neutrality. International organizations, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), emphasize the need to triple renewable generation capacity and double energy efficiency.

"For a long time, natural gas was considered a transitional gas, but, how long will this take? We are already at a point where we need to meet the goals and we are not there," she commented.

The latest report from IEA indicates that the energy transition is possible without a permanent dependence on natural gas. "We are going to talk about renewables as the goal, or as one of the important goals in energy transition and renewables. Gas is not part of that. That is the international bet, which means it should be the national bet," she added.

According to the NGOs, the combustion of gas releases harmful pollutants and greenhouse gasses (GHGs), contributing to climate change. Furthermore, methane leaks in the supply chain have the potential to heat the atmosphere 28 to 36 times more than CO2.

Critics highlighted additional changes to the Clean Energy Certificates (CEL) that fail to encourage the development of new investments in clean electricity generation. They argued against the allocation of CELs to fossil gas-based power stations without promoting additional clean energy projects. The agreement by CRE eliminates regulatory barriers designed to prevent the consideration of processes in the oil industry and fossil fuel production as clean energy, which the complainants find unacceptable.

The involved organizations asserted that these measures go against Mexico's international commitments to achieve clean energy generation. Since 2015, Mexico has pledged to reduce GHG emissions and black carbon by increasing the production of clean and renewable energies. They urge the Mexican government to take tangible steps to reverse CRE’s decision, advocating for a fair transition approach that upholds human rights and environmental considerations to meet clean energy generation targets

Photo by:   Thomas Richter, Unsplash

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