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Press Release: The role of the Mexican Electric Sector within the Climate Action Plan

The role of the Mexican Electric Sector within the Climate Action Plan

Press Release

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.

Specifically, complying with Mexico´s commitments regarding clean energies entails for 2030 the following:

  • Avoiding emitting 370 million tons of CO2eq (15% of the total reduction needed)
  • Not 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 by 38%
  • Improving energy security by 17% through the reduction of total fossil fuel consumption
  • These 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.