The role of the Mexican Electric Sector within the Climate Action Plan
Thursday, May 28, 2020 | Mexico City
Transitioning the Mexican
economy towards low-carbon is something that Mexico will have to do sooner or
later. The sooner we start this process the cheaper it will be and will entail
more benefits for society and the environment.
The role of the electric
sector within the Climate Action Plan is crucial. Mexico has historically been
an oil producing country, whose economy has been significantly based on this
resource, so a transition to cleaner energies such as wind, solar or nuclear
must be hastened while considering the economic realities of the country.
On November 2019 the Office
of the Presidency published a document entitled “Crunching Numbers:
Quantifying the sustainable development co-benefits of Mexico´s climate
commitments”[i]. It´s a study that quantifies and offers
concrete proof of the co-benefits that may be achieved by implementing a
climate agenda in coordination with the Agenda for Sustainable Development in
Mexico. It centers on five measures: electricity
generation from clean sources, protecting forests by achieving net-zero
deforestation, guaranteeing and monitoring the treatment of urban and
industrial wastewater in human settlements, fostering electric vehicle sales
and use, and reducing energy demand from industries.
In the particular case of
generating electricity, the study shows that by reaching a 43% participation of
energy sources different from fossil fuels by 2030, as established on the Paris
Agreement, not only will emissions of greenhouse gases decrease but it will
entail additional benefits in terms of public health, job creation and energy
security for the country.
with Mexico´s commitments regarding clean energies entails for 2030 the
emitting 370 million tons of CO2eq (15% of the total reduction needed)
incurring on social costs for 2,700 million dollars associated to avoiding
close to 1600 premature deaths associated with air quality
- Increasing employment on the electric sector
energy security by 17% through the reduction of total fossil fuel consumption
co-benefits would be even greater if we surpass the set goals. To fully take
advantage of them, implementing a few complimentary actions will be needed such
as enhancing and modernizing transition networks in order to avoid bottlenecks
and developing energy storage systems to deal with the intermittence of some of the sustainable energy sources.
Complying with Mexico´s
commitments in the Paris Agreement, far from representing a cost to society,
implies multiple and substantial benefits which may even be greater if the
goals set are surpassed.
The recent energy debate
shows the enormous challenges that we face as society in this sector; thus it´s
urgent to reconcile the diverse interests and realities between the private
industry and the government in favor of collective social and environmental
well-being. The transition towards cleaner energies is imperative.
-Dr. Mario Molina
[i] Document in English: Crunching Numbers: Quantifying the sustainable development co-benefits of Mexico´s climate commitments.